Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The Queen by Cecil Beaton

the-queen-hero.jpg
thequeen-hero-2.gif
the-queen-coronation2.jpg

2012 marks the 60th year since Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne, and to celebrate, the V&A are hosting an exhibition of her most fashionable portraits.

With one fashion blockbuster already on their programme this season (On Ballgowns, which we've already waxed lyrical about) the V&A have decided to go all out for the Diamond Jubilee with Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration. Displaying a number of never-before-seen photographs of Her Majesty taken by esteemed fashion photographer, designer and avid diarist Cecil Beaton, the exhibition will have enough to excite monarchists and fashion fans alike.

As one of the most photographed women in the world, there will doubtless be hundreds of exhibitions and books being launched in her honour this year, but the Queen had a longer photographic working relationship with Beaton than most (they worked together for three decades after her first sitting for him, as a nervous teenager in 1942) so the V&A's show promises more touching, informal shots of the Queen alongside the highly staged official portraits.

Extracts from Beaton’s diaries and letters are also likely to reveal an insight into the intense planning and staging that goes into a royal sitting - especially with such a well-known perfectionist.

Scroll down for a sneak preview of some of the beautiful photos from the show below - and we'll see you at the V&A this Spring...

Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II in Coronation Robes, June 1953 © V&A Images

Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Andrew, 1960 © V&A Images

Cecil Beaton, Princess Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, March 1945 , © V&A Images

Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II, 1968 © V&A Images

Cecil Beaton, contact sheet of The Royal Family, Buckingham Palace, October 1942 (featuring King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret) © V&A Images

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration opens at the V&A from 8 February – 22 April 2012.

Related

vanda-ballgowns.jpg

The V&A's beautiful ballgowns

queen-style-icon.jpg

Her Majesty: The Style Icon

hero2.jpg

Kate Middleton's style evolution

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Ellen Degeneres’ sweet anniversary message to Pink keeping it real

by Nicola Colyer
17 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017