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Annie Leibovitz captures the Queen and her family to mark the monarch’s 90th birthday

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Buckingham Palace has today released a series of touching family portraits in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.

Shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, the three images depict Britain's first nonagenarian monarch surrounded by various members of her family, as well as her beloved pet dogs.

The first image captures the Queen with her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, 11-month-old Princess Charlotte and two-year-old Prince George.

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Charlotte sits on the monarch's lap dressed in a floral collared dress with matching pink tights and a cardigan while George, who calls the Queen 'Gan Gan', is to her left, dressed in a blue cardigan with red shorts and knee-high black socks.

The trio are joined in the photo by Zara Phillip’s two-year-old daughter Mia, Peter Phillips’s five-year-old daughter Savannah and three-year-old Isla, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children, eight-year-old James, Viscount Severn, and finally 12-year-old Lady Louise Windsor.

Speaking about the photograph, a royal aide told The Daily Mail, "The Queen wanted a portrait of the youngest members of the family, the other end of the generational spectrum. You have the two youngest grandchildren, who are quite a lot younger than the others, and the great-grandchildren.

"It was a happy, nice, relaxed afternoon. There was a lovely feeling to it. All the parents were helping to get the shot right – a classic composition, rather like an Old Master but with a modern twist."

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The second official photograph, above, shows the Queen with her only daughter, princess Anne, sitting together on a sofa in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

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Finally, the third image shows the Queen in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, standing on a series of steps flanked by four of her pet dogs: corgis Willow and Holly and dorgis Vulcan and Candy.

As Queen, the monarch is bestowed with two birthdays each year, one being her actual birthday and the other being an official celebration. For today, which marks her actual birthday, she will celebrate by lighting the first in a chain of over 1,000 beacons across the UK and overseas, followed by a family dinner hosted by Prince Charles.

Her official birthday celebrations in June are set to be more formal, with plans including a service at St Paul's Cathedral and a street party along the Mall.