I bought this photograph of the future Queen Elizabeth as a Princess, with her mother – also Elizabeth – her sister, Margaret and her father King George VI, meeting the mayor of Cape Town, Abe Bloomberg on 25 February 1947.

The occasion was a civic ball at the city hall. Both Princesses are gorgeous and the photograph was taken a month before the future Queen made her famous pledge while in Cape Town.

I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.


It was a promise she was to keep all her life.

From the caption with the photograph: “Cape Town Ball. When royalty leaves the party there would seem to be that lingering, last-minute bit of conversation like at the homes of lesser John Bulls or John Does. Here the royal party says good-night to Abe Bloomberg, extreme right, mayor of Cape Town, after a civic ball. Left to right are Princess Margaret Rose, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and King George VI, with full row of medals. Associated Press Wirephoto.”