Stacks Image 1713
Stacks Image 1715

As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee year celebrations get underway, a series of exhibitions devoted to portraits of the sovereign during the last 60 years opens in the UK. ISBN selects a handful that illustrate the diversity of imagery Her Majesty's iconic reign - and style - has inspired.
Stacks Image 1313
Stacks Image 1932
Stacks Image 1345
Stacks Image 2251
Stacks Image 2259
Stacks Image 1988
Stacks Image 2266
Stacks Image 1952
Stacks Image 1994
Stacks Image 1906
Stacks Image 1938
Stacks Image 1970
Stacks Image 1981
Stacks Image 2264
Stacks Image 2211
Stacks Image 1964
Stacks Image 2249
Stacks Image 1114
The Queen: Art and Image

The most wide-ranging exhibit of Her Majesty’s images in different media, supplemented by archival material – from newspapers to film footage, and postage stamps to consumer ephemera. Among the highlights are Pietro Annigoni’s hugely popular life-size 1969 commission for the National Portrait Gallery, Lucian Freud’s portrait from the Royal Collection and Justin Mortimer’s painting where The Queen’s head takes flight from her body against a vibrant yellow background. Among the exhibited photographers are Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Wilding and Cecil Beaton - including his iconic Westminster Abbey Coronation image - and Chris Levine’s eye-catching photograph of The Queen with hers shut from 2004.  Unofficial portraits from major 20th-century artists include Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter, photographers such as Eve Arnold, Patrick Lichfield and Lord Snowdon. National Museum Cardiff, February 4 – April 29; National Portrait Gallery, London, May 17 – October 21, 2012:

The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years

From meeting John F Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 at Buckingham Palace, to arriving at Aberdeen Airport with her corgi dogs for a 1974 holiday in Scotland, and a black-and-white portrait of Her Majesty to mark her 80th birthday by fellow octogenarian Jane Bown in 2006, 60 Photographs offers a narrative of The Queen’s reign as seen through the lenses of leading press photographers. The advent of photography irreversibly blurred the boundaries between approved work and spontaneous shots of the monarch as media and reader demand for Royal coverage grew. These works capture Her Majesty in fleeting moments on business and at leisured family gatherings. In one notable 1962 image at Badminton Horse Trials, The Queen [a keen photographer] captures the action with a camera of her own. The Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle, from February 4 to January 2013. Tickets and visitor information:

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration

Photographer Cecil Beaton gets his own exhibition so frequent and famous were Her Majesty’s sittings and the images they produced. The 100 photographs depict The Queen as princess, monarch and mother, and include previously unseen photographs along with excerpts from Beaton’s diaries and letters. Her Majesty was a teenage princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942. For the next 30 years he shot many of her champagne moments, including Coronation Day. A selection of Beaton’s contact prints, from which the Palace chose images for media use, is on display for the first time. The exhibition also demonstrates how Beaton controlled the use of his photographs, revealing details of press embargoes, cropping instructions and notes on the sitting written on the back of his sassy image of The Queen and newborn Prince Andrew in March 1960. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, February 8 – April 22, 2o12:

Her Maj: 60 Years of Unofficial Portraits of the Queen

This gallery of royal portraits – affectionate, teasing and at times unflattering, shows how Her Majesty’s appearance in cartoons transformed during the second half of the 20th century. Since the early 1900’s, The Monarch might be referred to in cartoons but was almost never depicted, a taboo that remained unbroken into the 1950’s, and once broken, was repeatedly subverted. Eighty works by more than 30 cartoonists highlight the growth of artistic license – and humour - in depictions of Her Maj. The Cartoon Museum, London, February 1 – April 8, 2012: