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Royal family posts throwback pic of Queen Elizabeth as a 2-year-old for her 96th birthday

The sweet photo was posted to mark the queen's milestone birthday.

How do you honor a queen who's turning 96? Share an adorable throwback photo of her as a toddler!

On Thursday, the royal family shared a sweet photo of Queen Elizabeth II as a 2-year-old to mark her milestone birthday.

In the portrait, the smiling princess has her hands on her cheeks, with her beautiful curls on full display.

The caption explains that the princess "was never expected to become Queen." But everything changed in 1936 when her father became King George VI after her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated. When her father died in 1952, she became Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 25.

To celebrate the queen's birthday, the royal family also shared a quiz on their Instagram page to help her fans learn more about her life and career.

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, also paid tribute to the monarch on their Instagram page, calling her an "inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world."

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, posted several current photos of the queen along and one throwback shot on their account.

"Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a particularly special 96th birthday today, as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee year. 🎊🎈," they captioned the post.

This year marks 70 years on the throne for the monarch, and the royal family just released a new portrait of her on Wednesday. In the photo, which was taken last month, the queen wears a deep green, caped coat as she stands in the middle of two ponies.

Queen Elizabeth II standing with her ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie.HENRY DALLAL/Royal Windsor Horse Show / AFP via Getty Images

But this is just one of the queen's two birthdays, as it turns out.

“It’s a tradition that monarchs have had an official birthday, just in case their real birthday falls perhaps in November, as Prince Charles’ does,” NBC royal commentator Daisy McAndrew told TODAY. “Because it was always considered that you couldn’t do a lot of processional celebrations if the weather was bad.”

That means that the queen will have another celebration this June, when the annual Trooping the Colour parade will take place.