Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee at the Royal BC Museum
Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton
VICTORIA, BC - Crown and camera reign this summer at the Royal BC Museum as Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration marks the 60-year anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
|Princess Elizabeth Buckingham Palace - 1942 |
by Cecil Beaton Copyright V&A Images *
Sixty of Cecil Beaton’s images, selected from thousands in the V&A collection, capture the Queen in the important stages of her life; Beaton’s notes on each sitting are included. Copies of letters, diary extracts, annotated contact sheets, press cuttings, audio recordings and newsreels all add layers to the story they tell.
Lorne Hammond, History Curator, says, “This special celebration of the Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to see rare and iconic images of the Queen, in celebration of her 60-year reign. Beaton’s images take us from teenager to tender mother, and from young princess to regal maturity.”
Sir Cecil Beaton’s four-decade career as favoured royal photographer began in 1939. He recorded his first call from the palace in his diary: “The telephone rang, ‘This is the lady-in-waiting speaking. The Queen wants to know if you will photograph her tomorrow afternoon.’ At first I thought it might be a practical joke . . . but it was no joke.” The now late Queen Mother had seen the flamboyant fashion photographer’s work for Vogue magazine, prompting the call.
“He was one of the twentieth century’s masters of photography. And he created a new image for the Royal Family – one that was both splendid and remarkably intimate,“ says Tim Willis, Director of Exhibitions and Visitor Experience, Royal BC Museum. “His notes provide such rich detail on the royal sittings and his working methods.”
|Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret |
Buckingham Palace - 1942 by Cecil Beaton
Copyright V&A Images *
There are four sections in the exhibition. The first introduces the royal family with elaborate painted backdrops in the tradition of royal portraiture. The second section focuses on the grandeur and emotion of the day of the Coronation in 1953. The ‘Next Generation’ third section features the younger members of the Queen’s family. The final section is the Queen’s last sitting for Beaton in 1968, her dark admiral’s cloak and the stark background convey the magnitude of her role. Beaton continued to photograph other members of the House of Windsor as late as 1979. He died in 1980.
Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration runs from June 1 to September 3, 2012 at the Royal BC Museum.
For more information about the Royal BC Museum, visit http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/ or call 1-888-447-7977.
*Images used by permission