Queen Elizabeth II is thought to have visited 117 countries around the world and traveled more than a million miles. Some of these trips were controversial, while others marked hugely significant moments in history. We’ve gathered incredible photos from these travels, some of which show the Queen as a young, tentative sovereign, while others put her boundary-pushing nature on display...
1. Kenya, 1952
In February 1952 Elizabeth traveled to Kenya on one of her first solo Commonwealth tours. In this particular shot, she was at a venue to watch a game of polo. That’s not why the photo’s significant, though. You see, at this time, she wasn’t the queen yet. Her dad King George VI was still alive. But when he passed away a few days later, everything changed for Princess Elizabeth.
2. West Germany, 1965
How’s this for a striking image? As the Queen and her husband Prince Philip greet a crowd from their car in West Germany, a looming presence sits off to the side. Yep, that’s the Berlin Wall. By this point in 1965, the structure had been standing for four years, cutting Germany in half. It didn’t fall until 1989. We’d love to know what was going through Elizabeth’s head as she passed the infamous symbol of division.
3. Mexico, 1975
While visiting Mexico in 1975, the Queen got up close and personal with the surrounding crowd. You could never accuse her of ducking the public on these trips! But this photograph is particularly cute. Decked out in an eye-catching yellow dress with white gloves, Elizabeth stood with a number of excited kids on the street. Look at her beaming smile!
4. Sierra Leone, 1961
The Queen’s trip to Sierra Leone in 1961 was very significant. Why? Well, she supervised the unveiling of the African nation’s parliament. Elizabeth was still the Head of State there until 1971. To mark the occasion, she and Prince Philip went on to watch a special parade and a “traditional dance,” which we can see here. Quite the shot, right?