In pictures: 70 years of the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II is set to mark her 70 years on the throne as the UK and Commonwealth nations prepare for the official four-day Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the start of June.

The Queen has been part of public life for more than seven decades and has seen countless governments and prime ministers come and go.

Some of her most iconic moments have been when she has appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony to mark major occasions like previous Jubilees and royal weddings, waving to crowds who have gathered to catch a glimpse of the monarch.

The balcony appearances have become less frequent as the now 96-year-old monarch reaches her advanced years - which have particularly limiting her mobility - and she has either appeared with a walking stick or has had to pull out of events altogether.

Read more: Platinum jubilee: How old was the Queen when she came to the throne?

She had to cancel her appearance at the Easter Sunday service at Windsor and for the first time Prince Charles had to read out the Queen's Speech as part of the state opening of parliament in May.

The Queen is expected to make an appearance on the balcony during the Jubilee celebrations, which will feature a giant dragon puppet at the centre of a "spectacular" £15m pageant.

The pageant is one of the final spectacles of the long weekend for the Jubilee that begins on Thursday 2 June.

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