Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900 - 2002), looking at her first child, future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. May 1926.
Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900 - 2002), looking at her first child, future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. May 1926.Speaight/Hulton Archive—Getty Images
Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900 - 2002), looking at her first child, future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. May 1926.
Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900 - 2002), looking at her first child, future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. May 1926.
The Duchess of York took the children to see a daylight dress rehearsal of the Aldershot Tattoo. Here Princess Elizabeth greets the officer of the guard while Princess Margaret alights from the car at Rushmoor Arena. January 1935.
The Duchess of York took the children to see a daylight dress rehearsal of the Aldershot Tattoo. Here Princess Elizabeth greets the officer of the guard while Princess Margaret alights from the car at Rushmoor Arena. January 1935.
Princess Elizabeth sitting on a garden seat with two corgi dogs at her home on 145 Piccadilly, London. July 1936.
Princess Elizabeth sitting on a garden seat with two corgi dogs at her home on 145 Piccadilly, London. July 1936.
Queen Elizabeth talking to Lord Elphinstone during an inspection of the Royal Company of Archers at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Her husband King George VI is on the right; Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose are in the center. July 1937.
Queen Elizabeth talking to Lord Elphinstone during an inspection of the Royal Company of Archers at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Her husband King George VI is on the right; Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose are in the center. July 1937.
Princess Elizabeth working on her studies at a desk in Windsor Castle. June 1940.
Princess Elizabeth working on her studies at a desk in Windsor Castle. June 1940.
Princess Elizabeth out riding at the Royal Lodge, Windsor. April 1940.
Princess Elizabeth out riding at the Royal Lodge, Windsor. April 1940.
Princess Elizabeth poses in her girl guide uniform in Frogmore, Windsor, England on April 11, 1942.
Princess Elizabeth poses in her girl guide uniform in Frogmore, Windsor, England on April 11, 1942.
Princess Elizabeth holding Sue, a corgi pup, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, May 30, 1944.
Princess Elizabeth holding Sue, a corgi pup, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, May 30, 1944.
Elizabeth, Duchess of York (1900 - 2002), looking at her first child, future Queen, Princess Elizabeth. May 1926.
Speaight/Hulton Archive—Getty Images
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See Colorized Photos of a Young Queen Elizabeth II

Apr 21, 2016

When Winston Churchill met a two-year-old princess, the future Queen Elizabeth II, in 1928, he observed in the child a remarkable quality. She had, the future Prime Minister said, an “air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant.” There is much about the Queen, who was born 90 years ago on April 21, 1926, that remains unchanged since her early days: She is and always has been sensible, serious in her duties and steadfast in her love of her Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Long before she married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended to the throne in 1952, the future queen was a child called “Lilibet” who played and studied alongside her younger sister Margaret, adored her grandfather, King George V, and loved to ride horses and spend time with her dogs. In honor of her birthday, TIME commissioned freelance photo editor Sanna Dullaway to colorize several photos of the little girl who would be queen.

Sanna Dullaway is a photo editor based in Sweden. See more of her work here.

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