On Sept. 8, Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96 years old. She died, according to a solemn statement from Buckingham Palace, “peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” Perhaps even more significantly, she died surrounded by her family. Including the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she loved so dearly, as strongly evidenced by these photos of Queen Elizabeth with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She might be the longest reigning monarch the United Kingdom has ever seen, but to these people she is quite simply "Gran."
Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip were parents to four children together: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. From those children, they went on to be grandparents to eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Each of her grandchildren were reportedly close to her in different ways. According to royal expert Robert Lacey, Prince William has received important mentorship from the queen over the years as heir to the throne, according to People. While his brother Prince Harry reportedly has enjoyed a more casual relationship with his grandmother, so much so that he rather famously gave her a shower cap one Christmas that read "Ain't Life A B**ch," according to The Daily Express.
Like most big families, everyone has their own role and cute nicknames for each other. In private, Prince William and Prince Harry reportedly call the queen "Granny" or "Gran," while her great-grandchildren call her "Gan-Gan," according to Marie Claire. And from the looks of these photos, she enjoys this role quite a bit.
The Heir Has Arrived
Queen Elizabeth's formal portrait with her new grandson Prince William and his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, in 1983 can't hide her joy at his arrival. Also look at how Prince Philip beams and the Queen Mother looks on with pride.
Prince William, The Charmer
Prince William was the apple of everyone's eye at Prince Harry's christening in 1984, especially his proud grandmother.
Keeping It Casual With The Kids
Queen Elizabeth's two grandchildren from daughter Princess Anne, Peter and Zara Philips (now Tindall), hang out with her at the Windsor Horse Show in 1984. Peter is actually her first born grandchild.
Fun With The Fire Engine
Prince William, Zara and Peter Philips, Princess Diana, and Prince Charles joined Queen Elizabeth to check out a fire engine at Sandringham in 1988.
Leading By Example
Queen Elizabeth shows Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, how to greet well-wishers on Christmas Day in Sandringham, 1998.
Holding Hands With Harry
Easter is also a big time to get the family together for the royals, and Queen Elizabeth helps out with her grandkids at St. George's Chapel in Windsor in 1989 by holding Prince Harry's hand. Years later he would marry Meghan Markle at that same spot.
Horses & Granddaughters
Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Lady Louise is the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. At the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2010, she looked like she was ready to follow in her grandmother's footsteps as a lover of horses.
On The Queen's Knees
Zara Philips sat perched on her grandmother's knee to watch polo in 1984 like it was no big deal.
Give Us A Kiss
At the wedding of her oldest grandchild Peter Philips in 2008, Queen Elizabeth stopped for a little kiss from her grandson Prince Harry.
Always Happy In Scotland
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice joined Queen Elizabeth for a walk at Balmoral in Scotland along with their uncle Prince Charles, a place that remains very special to the whole family.
Just Gran & Her Grandson Sharing A Laugh
Prince William and Queen Elizabeth share a laugh at the 2005 Braemar Highland Gathering at The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.
Always With Those Horses
Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Tindall shares her grandmother's love of horses and can also make her laugh, apparently, as she did at Royal Ascot in 2007.
Surrounded By Grandsons
She Gets A Kick Out Of Her
Queen Elizabeth looking all adoring at her great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte in 2017 at the Trooping The Colour really warms the cockles of my heart.
All Dressed Up For Trooping
All The Cute Babies
Queen Elizabeth's great-grandson Prince Louis, youngest child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, really stole the show at the 2019 Trooping The Colour.
Never Too Old To Kiss Gran
In 2004, Queen Elizabeth gifted her grandson Prince William with a kiss at his polo match in Windsor.
Gaining A Granddaughter
When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, Queen Elizabeth gained a granddaughter-in-law. And she couldn't have looked happier about it than she did at Royal Ascot that year.
Stepping Up For Gran
After the coronavirus made a royal Christmas gathering at Sandringham impossible, Prince William and Kate Middleton enjoyed a distanced visit with the Queen in 2020.
Princess Beatrice Matches Her Gran
Princess Beatrice might not be a senior member of the royal family, but she's certainly close to her grandmother. As evidenced by this photo of them together at Royal Ascot in 2009.
This article was originally published on