Fan photos of members of the royal family to be exhibited at Kensington Palace

Fan photos of members of the royal family to be exhibited at Kensington Palace

Photographs of the royal family taken by members of the public will be featured alongside those of renowned photographers in a new exhibition.

Candid shots of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Diana will be on display at Kensington Palace as part of the Life Through the Eyes of the Royal Family exhibition, which opens next month.

The photographs were provided by royal observers from around the world in response to a request from Historic Royal Palaces.

The photographs had to be from official engagements, and the walks were of particular interest. Paparazzi-style pictures taken by the public of the royals spending time alone were not accepted.

Some of the winning images were revealed ahead of the official opening today. Among them is a snapshot of the Queen and Prince Philip smiling during a badminton competition in the spring of 1980.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, badminton competition, spring 1980, photographed by Elizabeth from Los Angeles, California: “My boyfriend and I were two American teenagers who studied in London.  We were hitchhiking outside of Bath and were picked up by a couple on their way to horse trials and ended up taking us along!  That was 42 years ago and it's still one of the best days of my life.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, badminton competition, spring 1980, photographed by Elizabeth from Los Angeles, California: “My boyfriend and I were two American teenagers who studied in London. We were hitchhiking outside of Bath and were picked up by a couple on their way to horse trials and ended up taking us along! That was 42 years ago and it’s still one of the best days of my life.”

Paul from Leeds - HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough, Birkenhead, September 2019: “Seeing the legendary Sir David was wonderful, I told him when I met him how I grew up on his show.  Prince William joked:

Paul from Leeds – HRH The Duke of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough, Birkenhead, September 2019: “Seeing the legendary Sir David was wonderful, I told him when I met him how I grew up on his show. Prince William joked: “He thought no one would come to see him, he was wrong!” They sat on the stage listening to the speeches. They just looked at each other and just laughed!”

George, taken in 1993: The Princess of Wales visiting the West London Methodist Mission in Marylebone in 1993.

George, taken in 1993: The Princess of Wales visiting the West London Methodist Mission in Marylebone in 1993.

It was made by a woman named Elizabeth from Los Angeles, California, who was studying in the UK at the time.

She said: “My boyfriend and I were two American teenagers who were studying in London. We were hitchhiking outside of Bath and were picked up by a couple on their way to horse trials and ended up taking us along! That was 42 years ago and it’s still one of the best days of my life.”

Elsewhere, a royal fan captured the Queen Mother holding a bouquet of flowers at the Sandringham Flower Show in 1988.

There is also a poignant black and white photograph of Princess Diana in a quiet moment during the royal engagement in Marylebone, London, in 1993.

Leeds-based amateur photographer Paul captured the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough joking while walking together in Birkenhead in September 2019.

He said: “Seeing the legendary Sir David was wonderful, I told him when I met him how I grew up watching his show. Prince William joked: “He thought no one would come to see him, he was wrong!” They sat on the stage listening to the speeches. They just looked at each other and just laughed!”

Denis of Lichfield (given by his daughter Diana) - Her Majesty The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Stourbridge, April 1957: His daughter Diana said: “The Queen and Prince Philip were on tour in the West Midlands and a photograph was taken.  in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge.  My father died in 1968 and has been a keen amateur photographer all his life.  He was a member of the Hagley Camera Club and won competitions both locally and nationally.

Denis of Lichfield (given by his daughter Diana) – Her Majesty The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Stourbridge, April 1957: His daughter Diana said: “The Queen and Prince Philip were on tour in the West Midlands and a photograph was taken. in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge. My father died in 1968 and has been a keen amateur photographer all his life. He was a member of the Hagley Camera Club and won competitions both locally and nationally.

Mike from Maidenhead - Her Majesty The Queen, Windsor, March 2008: “I traveled to Windsor with my sister and son-in-law to watch the arrival of President Sarkozy and his wife with great hope that we would get a glimpse of the Queen.  .  It was a state visit by the President of France, so the city was adorned with many flags.  As we waited in the crowd on the High Street in Windsor, the Queen passed us on her way to Eton Station and Windsor Riverside to greet the President.  I would like to say that the image I took was the result of my careful planning, but as happens in such cases, I caught Her Majesty with the Union Flag reflected in the car window, by a lucky chance.

Mike from Maidenhead – Her Majesty The Queen, Windsor, March 2008: “I traveled to Windsor with my sister and son-in-law to watch the arrival of President Sarkozy and his wife with great hope that we would get a glimpse of the Queen. . It was a state visit by the President of France, so the city was adorned with many flags. As we waited in the crowd on the High Street in Windsor, the Queen passed us on her way to Eton Station and Windsor Riverside to greet the President. I would like to say that the picture I took was the result of my careful planning, but as happens in such cases, I caught Her Majesty with the Union flag reflected in the car window, by a lucky chance.

Edward of King's Lynn (a gift from his family) - Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, August 1989, at the Sandringham Flower Show: “We are very pleased that we were lucky enough to choose two images.  The pictures were taken by my uncle, who sadly passed away in November 2021.  We have inherited them as part of his estate and it means so much to me and my family that his work will be on display at Kensington Palace.”

Edward of King’s Lynn (given by his family) – Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, August 1989, and The Prince of Wales, July 1988, both at the Sandringham Flower Show: “We are very excited to have two Images. selected. The pictures were taken by my uncle, who sadly passed away in November 2021. We have inherited them as part of his estate and it means so much to me and my family that his work will be on display at Kensington Palace.”

The photographs will be complemented by images such as intimate family portraits commissioned by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, and portraits of the Queen and Queen Mother by Beaton.

Covering almost 200 years of royal photography, the exhibition explores the brutal formality of the Victorian era, the high glamor of Beaton’s photographs and the laid-back informality of the digital age.

Also featured will be the work of famed photographer Lord Snowdon, who was married to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, depicting “a different, sometimes rebellious, fashionable and more informal side of the royal family.”

Photoshoots such as the cover of the Duke of Cambridge’s Attitude Magazine and the 2016 anniversary issue of the Duchess of Cambridge in British Vogue will “explore how photography and imagery remain central to the public’s perception of contemporary royalty today.”

Paul, 2019: The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the shade under an umbrella during their carriage ride at the 2019 Sandringham Flower Show

Paul, 2019: The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the shade under an umbrella during their carriage ride at the 2019 Sandringham Flower Show

Jonathan of Hastings - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, London, April 2011: “We were in London on the day of Kate and William's wedding.  Desperate to see them in the crowd, I took this photo, which I thought captures the novelty and joy of this event, and that it has happened many times throughout our history.

Jonathan of Hastings – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, London, April 2011: “We were in London on the day of Kate and William’s wedding. Desperate to see them in the crowd, I took this photo, which I thought captures the novelty and joy of this event, and that it has happened many times throughout our history.”

Claudia Acott Williams, Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, said: “Since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first embraced revolutionary new photography technology, this medium has shaped the way the world views the British monarchy.

“It allowed the royal family to share a breathtaking view of their lives and work, transforming the royal image and creating an unprecedented relationship between crown and subjects.

“Through our new exhibition at Kensington Palace, Life Through the Royal Lens, we look forward to welcoming our visitors to the world of royal photography to explore the history of the iconic image of the modern monarchy as we know it today.”

Diamond Jubilee: This photo of Queen Victoria was taken to commemorate the monarch's 60th birthday on the throne.

Diamond Jubilee: This photo of Queen Victoria was taken to commemorate the monarch’s 60th birthday on the throne.

Beautiful as a picture: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, photographed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace

Beautiful as a picture: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, photographed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace

Splendor: The Queen looks majestic in a gartered robe in this photograph taken by Cecil Beaton in 1968.

Splendor: The Queen looks majestic in a gartered robe in this photograph taken by Cecil Beaton in 1968.

The Living Through the Royal Family exhibition opens at Kensington Palace on March 4, 2022 and is included in the price of admission to the palace.

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