35 Best Royal Family Portraits Throughout the Years
We’ve learned quite a few valuable lessons from the royals over the years. For instance, Kate Middleton taught us some pretty neat parenting tactics, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continually remind us of the value of giving back. But if there’s one skill we admire most about the British monarchy, it’s their ability to pose for Instagram-worthy portraits.
From Queen Victoria to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, we rounded up a list of the 35 best royal family portraits throughout the years.
1. The Victorian Era
Meet the inspiration behind the British series, Victoria: Her Majesty’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. The royal is pictured with her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, during the 19th century.
2. Meet Queen Elizabeth II’s great-grandparents
Among Princess Victoria and Prince Albert's children was King Edward VII, who tied the knot with Queen Alexandra in 1863. Fun fact: He was the sole ruler of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His son, George V, later changed it to Windsor.
3. King George V follows in his dad’s footsteps
This Buckingham Palace portrait features the queen’s grandparents, King George V (formerly the Duke of York) and Princess Mary of Teck. They’re posing alongside members of the immediate and extended royal family on their wedding day in 1983.
4. A future queen is born
King George V's son, George VI, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923. They later welcomed two daughters: Princess Elizabeth (right) and Princess Margaret (left).
5. Like mother, like daughters
The Queen Mother (then Duchess of York) poses with her girls in the garden of the Royal Lodge at Windsor in 1936.
6. A regal gathering
Three generations of the British royal family are seen in this vintage snap, including Queen Mary, George VI, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.
7. Elizabeth’s wedding
On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in a lavish ceremony. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were both present at the wedding.
8. The queen welcomes her first child
Elizabeth is all smiles while holding her newborn, Prince Charles, during his christening in 1948.
9. A royal picnic
After Prince Charles, Elizabeth and Philip welcomed three more children: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward (who was born after this pic was taken). A young Charles is seen sitting with his parents and siblings as they enjoy a picnic on the grounds of Balmoral Castle.
10. Seeing double
Her Majesty clearly passed down some strong genes. The mother-son duo sported matching smiles while posing for photos at Windsor Castle in 1969.
11. Anne says ‘I do’
Anne, Princess Royal, married Mark Phillips in 1973—and as you can see from this pic, it was quite the family affair. Several members were in attendance, including Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, just to name a few.
13. A wedding for the ages
On July 29, 1981, 750 million viewers around the world tuned in as Diana tied the knot with Prince Charles during their fairytale wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
14. Baby William is born
At Kensington Palace, Prince Charles and Diana play with their firstborn, Prince William, who they welcomed on June 21, 1982.
15. Prince William becomes a big brother
William’s brother, Prince Harry, was born on September 15, 1984. Prince Charles and Princess Diana proudly posed with their second child outside The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London.
16. A royal family outing
Princess Diana and Prince Charles enjoy a fun day outdoors with the boys, who are clearly having way too much fun to pay attention to the camera.
17. Plaid is the new black
In this 1996 throwback, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, Prince Andrew, joins his former wife, Sarah Ferguson, and their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for a Charity Golf Tournament at the Wentworth Golf Club. (If we didn’t know any better, we’d think Beatrice and Eugenie are twins).
18. Prince William's major milestone
On March 9, 1997, the royal family had plenty to celebrate. In honor of Prince William's Confirmation at Windsor Castle, they took this official portrait in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.
19. The birthday shoot
Only a day before his 43rd birthday in 2003, Prince Andrew and his family gathered for a special photo shoot in Verbier, Switzerland.
20. Prince Charles remarries
Prince Charles posed at Clarence House with his new bride, Camilla Parker Bowles, after they tied the knot in April 2005. There to celebrate the occasion was Prince Harry, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II and Tom and Laura Parker Bowles.
21. Prince Charles hosts a special dinner
In November 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were joined by their children at Clarence House when Prince Charles and Camilla hosted a dinner to celebrate his parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary. Standing behind the trio are Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
22. Prince William is officially off the market
Prince William was beaming after his wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Middleton, at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. Over 1900 guests were in attendance, including foreign royal family members and heads of state.
23. Prince George is born
The happy couple welcomed their first son, Prince George, in 2013. Keeping with tradition, the royals posed with their baby at The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
24. Prince George’s Big Brother Debut
After the birth of their second child, Princess Charlotte, in May 2015, William and Middleton released this heartwarming photo of George kissing his little sister. Talk about sibling goals.
25. A royal holiday
The royal couple released this gorgeous fall-themed family portrait and wished their followers a Merry Christmas in 2015.
26. The family hits the slopes
Leave it to Prince William and Middleton to have stellar photo ops while skiing in the French Alps.
27. Prince Harry ties the knot
Prince Harry married Markle in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018. Several stars were in attendance, including Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey, while Idris Elba served as the DJ during the reception.
28. Holiday greetings
The royals posed for this Christmas card photo at Kensington Palace in 2017, complete with color coordinated outfits and matching smiles.
29. Prince Louis is born
That same year, Prince William and Middleton welcomed their third child, Prince Louis. After his christening at the Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace, Kensington Palace released several photos of family members posing with the 11-week-old.
30. Prince Charles celebrates a milestone birthday
To mark his 70th birthday, Prince Charles posed in the gardens of Clarence House with his family, including Bowles, Prince William, Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry and Markle.
31. Meghan and Harry become a family of three
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on May 6, 2019. Here, the happy parents are seen with Archie in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle.
32. A royal celebration
Two months after Archie was born, he was christened at the queen's private chapel at Windsor Castle—the same place where Prince Harry was christened.
33. Meghan and Harry announce their second pregnancy
In 2021, it was confirmed that little Archie would become a big brother after Markle and Prince Harry's photographer, Misan Harriman, shared a sweet black-and-white photo of the couple.
34. The Cambridge family makes a special appearance
This pic of Prince William and his family cheering on frontline workers practically looks like a stock photo.
35. The Bond Premiere
William, Prince Charles, Middleton and Bowles looked rather sharp at the world premiere of No Time to Die in London.