Buckingham Palace releases rare images of the queen

This undated handout photo provided by HM The Queen shows the then Princess Elizabeth swimming with her father, King George VI in Britain. Rare footage of Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been shared to celebrate her 90th birthday. (AP)

LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace has released black-and-white images of Queen Elizabeth II as a young girl amid celebrations marking her 90th birthday.

The first image shows a young Princess Elizabeth frolicking with her father, George VI, near a swimming pool — her arms outstretched, ready to dive in. The second shows her gently gazing at a bird perched on her arm.

The release is part of a four-day pageant this weekend that will salute her long reign. The extravaganza coincides with the Royal Windsor Horse Show, on part of the estate that includes Windsor Castle.

The festival will climax Sunday evening with a national televised show to be attended by the queen and her husband Prince Philip. The performers will include Gary Barlow, Helen Mirren, Kylie Minogue and Shirley Bassey.