Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 07:57 UK

Queen Elizabeth at just four years old in new footage

Never-before-seen film footage of Queen Elizabeth II as a child has been released as part of an exhibition at Windsor Castle.

The film shows the Queen - then Princess Elizabeth - at four years old.

Also part of the exhibition is a range of photographs, one taken just four days after her father unexpectedly ascended to the throne as George VI.

Curator Lisa Heighway notes the Princess's "serious expression" once she became heir to the throne.

She continues to be happy and carefree, but there's most definitely a serious expression there to be see.
Lisa Heighway

The series of images include the first portrait sitting of Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in December 1926, when she was just seven-and-a-half months old.

The pictures were taken by Marcus Adams, the Royal Photographer for two generations of the monarchy between 1926 and 1956.

In the film, Mr Adams is seen entertaining the young princess by balancing coins on his forehead and nose.

But it is the picture from December 1936 that depicts a life in transition. Just four days before the picture was taken, Elizabeth's father, then the Duke of York, ascended to the throne after the abdication of his brother Edward.

Noticeable change

Lisa Heighway of The Royal Collection says that the change in Elizabeth is noticeable.

"I think it is possible to see the difference," she said.

"In the early photographs she's a young, carefree and happy girl - she continues to be happy and carefree, but there's most definitely a serious expression there to be seen."

The exhibition at Windsor Castle opens on 24 April and runs until 6 February 2011.



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