The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch

Annie Leibovitz

HM Queen Elizabeth II
28 March 2007
C-type print
31.6 x 48.0 cm, 31.9 x 47.6 cm & 31.8 x 47.6 cm

A series of four photographs were commissioned by the Royal Household from the American photographer Annie Leibovitz (b.1949) to mark The Queen’s State Visit to the United States of America in 2007. Three portraits from this series will be displayed as part of this exhibition.

This photograph shows Her Majesty in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, wearing the mantle of the Order of the Garter.

Copyright information: Annie Leibovitz

In this portrait Leibovitz reinvents Cecil Beaton’s famous image of The Queen wearing the Boat Cloak. The image of The Queen wrapped in a dark cloak against a stormy background, presents her as an enduring constant in a turbulent world. Although this photograph appears to have been taken outside, the portrait was actually taken inside the Palace along with the others, before being digitally superimposed against a view of the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Copyright information: Annie Leibovitz

The windows of the White Drawing Room are thrown open to reveal the gardens of Buckingham Palace, and to admit the natural light which illuminates the figure of The Queen. Many different textures are recorded in the photograph, from the sparkling diamonds in her tiara, the gold brocade of her dress, and the fur draped around her shoulders. This image may hint at Annigoni’s first painted portrait of 1954–5, particularly in The Queen’s contemplative gaze and the spindly trees seen in the distance.

Copyright information: Annie Leibovitz