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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 May 2006, 02:07 GMT 03:07 UK
Queen 'Lilibet' letters unveiled
Princess Elizabeth on her tricycle in 1931
The young princess is pictured riding her tricycle

Unseen letters written by the Queen as a child and photographs of her early life have been revealed in an album.

Letters from the royal archive include details of what "Lilibet" wrote to her grandmother Queen Mary, including news she had lost a front tooth.

The material appears in Queen Elizabeth II: A Birthday Souvenir Album which marks the monarch's 80th birthday.

Images of Princess Elizabeth as an eight-year-old bridesmaid and riding her tricycle in 1931 also feature.

Pony gift

Photographs in the album also include one of the young princess in 1933 on a Shetland pony which had been given to her by her grandfather.

Another shows the princess smiling in the studio of the Hungarian sculptor, Sigismund de Strobl, while sitting beside a marble sculpture of her head.

Four letters, written by the Queen between the ages of five and 12, are among those published in the commemorative book.

The first letter shows smudge marks where the young princess had to correct her work, but the latter ones show how the future monarch's writing changes and becomes more grown-up.

Three of these letters have not been seen before, including one in which the Queen as a seven-year-old tells her grandmother her news.

"Dear Granny. Thank you very much for the lovely little jersey. "We loved staying at Sandringham with you. I lost a top front tooth yesterday morning," she wrote.

She tells Queen Mary about a fancy-dress party she had enjoyed, adding: "It was simply lovely. There was a clown and a jester and a snowman and lots of people I knew.

"There were stalls full of lovely things in them. There were lovely flowers and toys and sweets. Love from Lilibet."

In March 1939, a month before her birthday, Princess Elizabeth wrote of her surprise at turning 13 in a get well letter to her grandmother.

The book is published by Royal Collection Publications on 6 June.

In pictures: Queen's early photos
27 May 06 |  In Pictures


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