The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch

Rankin (John Rankin Waddell)

HM Queen Elizabeth II
6 December 2001
Inkjet print from digital file
61.0 x 51.0 cm

To celebrate the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Press Office at Buckingham Palace invited ten photographers from across the Commonwealth to create a portfolio of new portraits of The Queen.

Each photographer was granted a single sitting with Her Majesty and was asked to contribute two finished portraits. One of the artists who participated was the noted fashion photographer Rankin (b.1966).

His portrait appears to be shot at close-range and uses a dramatic angle which makes the viewer feel as if they are kneeling before The Queen, in homage or about to be knighted. The fact that this particular photograph was taken in front of the throne in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, the location for investitures, adds an extra dimension.

For his second work in the portfolio, Rankin digitally superimposed the same image of The Queen against the Union Flag, creating a patriotic portrait which presents the monarch as a symbol of the nation.