Monday, April 25, 2011

A Royal Portrait: Queen Elizabeth II by Annie Leibovitz


With April 29 fast approaching, it seems that every news segment on television nowadays is accompanied with updates on the upcoming Royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and soon-to-be Queen-in-waiting Kate Middleton. Before everyone else is captivated by this Royal wedding fever, a few words and pictures should be devoted to the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is presented here in all her grandeur and elegance as photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

Ms. Leibovitz was the first American commissioned to take the British Monarch's portrait, and these four outstanding images are the result of that assignment three years ago.

 
This particular photo shoot wasn't without controversy, although the problem had to do with a trailer to a TV series documenting a year in the life of the Queen. Apparently, some executives decided it would be better to edit the trailer so that it appeared that the Queen was angrily storming out of this photo session. 

In reality, she was walking into the shoot. It was a rather misleading interpretation, and as a result, some people high up the ladder were forced to resign their posts.


The above photograph shows the Queen on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, giving her a sort of pensive and brooding mood. In reality, Her Majesty was photographed indoors and the outdoor scene was added in later digitally. Given the time frame and other constraints that Ms. Leibovitz had to work with, this photo and the other pictures were done very well. 

You can find out more about this particular photo shoot in her most recent book, Annie Leibovitz at work. Vanity Fair has an excerpt that you can read over here. You can also view this video taken from the same documentary mentioned above.


Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 59 years, and all four photos show her resilience, vitality and majesty in the best light. It is therefore fitting that this post should come just before her Diamond Jubilee celebration next year.

Check out this previous post on Annie Leibovitz's photography. For those of you who stumbled upon this post looking for photos of the upcoming Royal wedding, you can indulge yourself over here or here. More of Ms. Leibovitz's work can be found in her book A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005. Her workflow describing her photo shoot with Queen Elizabeth as well as other notable subjects over the years can be read found in Annie Leibovitz at Work.



76 comments:

The Game Store Guy said...

That third one doesn't even look real.

R.C said...

Interesting pictures of the Queen. Definitely got me thinking since a couple of weeks ago the "queen" appeared in WWE's Raw when they were in the UK and she "knighted" Michael Cole...the audience was booing like crazy.

=dgrphx= said...

she is really scary looking

Wintermute said...

59 years, wow

Lhosreiff said...

Shes pretty old. And boring.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Photoshopped, I can tell by the pixels. Also, April 29th is a horrible date, I hope the Space Shuttle Endeavour's final launch upshows them.

freightblog said...

awesome photos!

Jacob said...

@t =dgrphx=;
hehe, yup. Looks like an old evil queen who likes eating virgins.

Jay said...

wow, such a lot of negative feedback.

i actually quite like them. :D

Dave said...

These pics of the Queen are really nice. I think the one at the top is excellent.

Mo said...

the third really dont look real...

Fang said...

You can see the third pic is indeed editted, very obvious border around the woman.

Jack said...

I hate the fact that the tax payer is paying for this stupid wedding!

Mike said...

she reminds me of something evil...

princy gupta said...

i like them...
all are looking awesome except 3rd one....

Raul Pevere said...

yeah, I think some of these have been worked with to look like paintings . .

Trolske said...

I have nothing against the royals, I just don't give a shit. And the third picture is really obvious, but the rest is pretty good.

duffboi said...

Wow those pictures are amazing. The Queen and the backgrounds are outstanding!

D4 said...

Yeah, I was about to mention the grounds pic too but I saw all the comments. Looked like a really good painting. The rest were quality though.

Banacek said...

She looks like George Washington.

randomer said...

Beautiful pictures, even if the queen were removed from them they would still have such a regal feel.

thenitefalls said...

What I like about these pictures they look like old paintings :D

Rob said...

Those are all pretty neat.

M.D. Flodström said...

I like the 4th. However, I do not like the paperclip in the top corner :P

Moby said...

I don't care what people say! She is a FOX

ed said...

elegant pics, kinda creepy though

HiFi said...

I wonder why these photos look like they were meant to make the queen look scary.

mac-and-me said...

awesome shots

Ambi said...

All of them don't really look like photographs

BTN Hip Hop said...

meh i dont really care about the wedding and im english, who needs a monarchy these days?

Razor said...

The first is such a magnificent photo! Do you have it in ultra-HQ?

OatmealStout said...

I still don't know who this Kate Middleton is, or why we care about said wedding in the US. The pics are nice, but they look over-stylized and fake =/ Also, April 29 is my bday :P

Alexandra said...

Looks great but i dont like her, or the "royal" family. The news is making their wedding a big deal when really its JUST a wedding, i dont care whether they are getting married or not, ppffft lol.

DocStout said...

Yeah, 1,2 and 4 are brilliant. Not a fan of the manipulated #3.

Joel C Anatoli said...

hahaha, I agree with Jack.

Its retarded.

T. Roger Thomas said...

I don't care about the Royals or the upcoming wedding at all. Kick them out of their fancy homes and redistribute their wealth.

Electric Addict said...

very elegant

Colin Biano said...

The pictures themselves are good, i just hate the queen

Reilly said...

this is unethical...oh it's the queen, who cares!

misticalnia said...

Don't you just love fairy tales? I know I do.

misticalnia said...

Buckingham Palace - my home!

No, really. My neighborhood is called "London Woods" and the house that I live is apparently called the Buckingham model according to real estate. Weird, isn't it?

Anyway, random comment right there, but then again, I always make random comments. Oh, and the pictures of the Queen are truly magnifique.

Schla.mp3 said...

i absolutely agree with jack!

Shutterbug said...

Those are some pretty photos!

Titan of 2012 said...

wow that is stunning!

The Old Master said...

beautiful. masterpiece. royal talent!

pixel said...

these all have a nice painterly quality

Legnox said...

ahhhh this royal wedding stuff is starting to annoy me quite honestly :/

Anonfourtwenty said...

The second one from the bottom scares me.

Fred Rickerson said...

Fantastic shots, long live the queen!

Tweeks Coffee said...

nice!

Moobeat said...

Mixed feelings on this one it seems

Jaccstev said...

Those looks completely majestic :)

Patti D. said...

they look so awesome!!! it's amazing.

KatoFinance said...

I want to visit England someday!


Please follow my blog!

katofinance.blogspot.com

Venus said...

beautiful. almost look like paintings.

Fortune said...

Chilling stuff.

MRanthrope said...

Charles will be king for about 2 weeks at this rate! Glad she's still going strong.

Slamcakes said...

Let's hope she doesn't "reign" on their parade :P

Esun said...

These are just majestetic!

Laughing Vault said...

nice pictures, but i dont like her

Biff Tanner said...

Those are some great pics

gangsignslol said...

Great photos, never supported the archaic monarchy though

las3R said...

Looks pretty scary if you ask me

jblogger45 said...

these are great!

Stare Dad said...

love these photos, tbh im quite a fan of queen elizabeth

Rorschach Redemption said...

None of them look real to me. Very nice, but not real. FREAKY.

God save the queen.

Schla.mp3 said...

mhh it's hard to believe that this are photos

Ed said...

I remember seeing these when they were first published. She looks so... Royal.

thesmashhitfantastic said...

These are obviously beautiful photos. They're like paintings! So modern. So strong. It's amazing what technology can do in this day and age. I'm just starting out with my blog, but taking pictures has begun to remind me that I need to brush up on my photo skills! It's been a looong time since photo class. Nice blog!

Nicole✗✗ said...

These photographs are magnificent!! Annie Leibovitz is an amazing photographer, one of my fav's!! I can't wait for the royal wedding this week!!

Relevant to My Interests said...

Very powerful photo!

Dale said...

Wow, Annie L is really one of the best photographers. I think they always look like they are straight out of a fairytale.

xoDale
Thanks for the comment too. I have to admit I can't wait to watch the wedding footage tomorrow and see what her dress will look like

A Heel in Mint said...

I love the pictures. Love the palace interior and she looks exactly like you described in your post very resilient and majestic!

xx
Heel in Mint

Anonymous said...

I laughed till I peed...with the comment made that she looks like George Washington. Totally!! HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHAHHAAAA

washingtoncountyregiment said...

What lovely photos! The first one especially shows the queen at her best, timeless, beautiful and wise.

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