Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibowitz

with 19 comments




Famous celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz took the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II in March 2007. One of the photos, shown below, shows a very serene Queen sitting in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace dressed in a pale gold evening dress, fur stole, and diamond tiara. Inspired by the portrait of Queen Charlotte that hangs in the National Gallery, the wide shot captures the Queen gazing towards a large open window and reveals some of the room’s furnishings and a reflection of a chandelier in a mirror. The room is dark except for the soft light flooding through the open window.

The photo-shoot was going smoothly until Leibowitz asked the Queen to take off her tiara (crown) to look “less dressy” for the next photo. The Queen flew into a huff and replied: “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” Contrary to some press accounts, Queen Elizabeth did not storm out of her session with Leibovitz; she more or less stormed in, brisk and impatient–the queen never enjoyed being photographed in her robes of state.

One of the most famous Leibowitz photos with Her Majesty in a huge cape against a wintry landscape, looks rather like the ultimate American Express ad or as some critics call it, vampiric. As it happens, it was a composite image: trees in the picture were shot on a Tuesday. The Queen, disinclined to go outdoors, was shot the next day.

QueenElizabeth3_thumb[2].jpg QueenElizabeth2_thumb[3].jpg

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

June 10, 2009 at 3:50 am

19 Responses

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  1. i dont agree with all images, but the quality and uniqueness you bring to photo/graphics is captivating….i admire your sensivity in transforming your subjects/matter.

    Ukpong Anderson

    December 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm

  2. […] Images Family portrait in the Green Room of the White House [White House flickr] Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibowitz [iconic photos] Annie Leibovitz returns with more photos for Disney [thedisneyblog] Disney […]

  3. […] Annie Leibovitz is a major source of inspiration for many photogs Image of Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibovitz via Iconic Photos […]

  4. My goodness, the Queens outdoor photo makes her look like King George III.


    August 31, 2010 at 1:34 am

  5. […] Portrait of Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibovitz, […]

  6. […] https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/queen-elizabeth-by-annie-leibowitz/ Some of the final images were actually a composition with the Queen lit indoors and then supercomposed onto shots taken outside. Here is one of the setups done in this way. That is why the light is so soft on her and the surroundings are also perfectly lit. No doubt AL could have lit the Queen perfectly if she were actually taken outside, there was very limited time and AL had only a half hour with the queen.  This diagram illustrates the setup for the composite, taken with 2 octobanks one shot through a scrim, reflector […]

  7. I think the Autumn photo, out of doors, is the most beautiful, breathtaking iconography I have ever seen. The Queen is stunning. I feel this masterpiece will be ‘the one’ through time. She is the only Reigning Monarch I have seen sans crown, who maintains every iota of Her Majesty. What staid presence. Impressive work.

    Joey Tavares

    October 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

  8. Verry inspiration work’s!!


    September 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  9. […] again it’s enormously arresting, though was famously called ‘vampiric’ by one critic. There are other spectacular photos of the day with the Queen in full rig, but it is in this one, without her tiara, jewellery or furs, where she […]

    The Story of a Cloak

    December 3, 2013 at 7:02 am

  10. The Queen looks so regal, even in a black cape and without a huge diamond tiara, THAT’s beautiful.

    Catherine Dream

    January 31, 2014 at 3:59 am

  11. Annie Leibovitz is a genius –a national treasure —-I wish we could designate national treasures –there are so many ——her portraits of Queen Elizabeth are glorious !!

    robert cauvel

    February 13, 2014 at 5:48 am

  12. , Tornado in order to overcome the centrifugal separator uneven scattering material, ratings, defects such as non-uniform flow field and has developed a number of new classification equipment. Widely used O-Sepa-separator is considered to be the third-generation high efficiency typical grading equipment.

  13. […] the Queen of England standing in room one day; then shot a field with trees another, and then digitally placed Her Majesty — who was disinclined to go outside — standing in a field. Which makes the pigeon shot even […]

  14. […] think her photographs of Mrs Betty Mountbatten-Windsor of Balmoral at the House at the end of The Mall, London, were […]

  15. […] Elizabeth II has sat for roughly 200 portraits by artists from Annie Leibovitz to Lucian Freud to hologram creator Chris Levine. She never gives her opinion on the […]

  16. […] Elizabeth II has sat for roughly 200 portraits by artists from Annie Leibovitz to Lucian Freud to hologram creator Chris Levine. She never gives her opinion on the results—at […]

  17. […] Castello di Windsor, pochi giorni dopo Pasqua, Annie Leibovitz, tornata a ritrarre la sovrana dopo un celebre servizio fotografico nel 2007 . I ritratti mostrano Elisabetta con la figlia Anna, con il figlio primogenito Carlo, con i nipoti […]

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