Few people in the world have sat for more portraits than Queen Elizabeth. She’s been photographed pretty much every month since World War II. The royal family just shared a few of her iconic shots for World Photography Day. Let’s take a look.
A Brief History Of Queen Elizabeth And Photography
Born on April 21, 1926, Elizabeth was the focus of cameras well before she could even talk. Elizabeth wasn’t anywhere close to the throne when she was born, waiting behind her father, King George VI, and her uncle, King Edward VIII. However, Edward’s eventual abdication meant Elizabeth would see the throne. You may think being the daughter of the second heir would mean fewer photos, but Prince Harry’s son Archie lives through the same treatment as someone in the line of succession.
A Real Who’s Who Of Photography
World Photography Day was invented in 2010, and it aims to annually honor the work of photographers. To mark the occasion, the royal family posted an Instagram Reel featuring various portraits of Elizabeth from 1943 to 2014.
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The list of photographers is a real who’s who when it comes to talent behind the camera. Cecil Beaton snapped the earliest one featured in 1943. He would go on to win an Academy Award for designing the costumes of My Fair Lady. Yousuf Karsh photographed Elizabeth in 1943 as well, where she looks especially youthful. He was two years removed from snapping Winston Churchill’s portrait in what has become his most famous photograph.
Stirling Henry Nahum, a friend of Prince Philip, got to photograph Elizabeth and Philip on their 1947 wedding day. He remained close to the family operating under the professional name Baron until his death in 1956. The work of Dorothy Wilding is featured as well. Her portrait of the newly ascended Elizabeth would be featured on British stamps from 1952 to 1967.
A Peek At Different Eras
The reel also features a stunning portrait by Annie Leibovitz in 2007. Elizabeth is dressed in black and surrounded by clouds as if a storm is coming. It’s reminiscent of a Cecil Beaton portrait of Elizabeth in black. Elizabeth is known for her brightly-colored dresses, so it’s interesting to see her adorned in dark shawls.
Whatever your favorite portrait is probably says something about which era of Elizabeth you prefer. She’s currently the longest living monarch in the world, and the second longest reigning monarch of a sovereign state ever. Elizabeth can be proud of her legacy in photographs.