Queen Elizabeth II portraits by Cecil Beaton

In the run up to the Diamond Jubilee, the V&A is holding an exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty by photographer Cecil Beaton, including a number of photographs never seen before

Beaton’s royal portraits were among the most widely published photographs of the 20th century and this Jubilee exhibition will explore his relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, who was a teenage princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942.

Queen Elizabeth Portrait

The exhibition will depict The Queen in her roles as princess, monarch and mother. It features nearly 100 portraits including wartime and Coronation Day photographs and images of The Queen with her young children. It will show official portraits alongside informal moments of the Royal Family at home.

Queen Elizabeth Portrait

Excerpts from Beaton’s diaries and letters will also be displayed, revealing an insight into the practice of a royal sitting. It will portray to the public the intense planning beforehand, conversations with The Queen and the pressures of achieving a perfect portrait.

A version of the exhibition will open in the McManus Gallery in Dundee in September 2011 and will tour the UK to Leeds City Museum, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle.   Queen Elizabeth Portrait


The exhibition will take place in the V&A’s Porter Gallery from 8th February until 22 April 2012. Tickets are priced at £6. For advance bookings visit www.vam.ac.uk or call 020 7907 7073.

Read a free online preview of Elizabeth: The Queen our special Diamond Jubilee souvenir magazine.

Published by BRITAIN – the official magazine of VisitBritain – to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, Elizabeth – The Queen charts Her Majesty’s public and personal life during 60 fascinating years at the head of the world’s most famous Royal Family.

Read the first chapter below and order your souvenir copy here

For more information and to order your copy, click here