I’ve always been fascinated by Queen Elizabeth II. On the one hand she is the epitome of British steely determination, of Royalty (those Tsar/Queen Victoria-like eyes give it away!) and of duty – duty to our country over and above her personal wants and needs. On the other hand, over her 60 year reign, she has brought new life to a somewhat distant and unwelcoming monarchy with her charming smile, her meet and greets (something her Great-Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria, would never have been seen doing) and her intimate photography portraits.
On a recent visit to the V&A, I wandered through the Cecil Beaton exhibition showcasing some images of Queen Elizabeth II in honour of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year. The images are as fascinating as the subject. Some show Her Majesty in full ceremonial attire, such as the photograph taken just after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, while others give us a rare and intimate view into her life as a mother.
Here are my favourites:
Queen Elizabeth II during part of the Order of the Garter ceremony
Princess Elizabeth as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards
Princess Elizabeth looking like a fairytale Princess
Another image of The Queen taken on the day of the Order of the Garter ceremony
A maternal instinct: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew
A collection of images from the 1942 photo shoot
King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret
One of the most iconic images of the twentieth century: Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day
2 June 1953