The story behind the portrait used to announce Queen Elizabeth II’s death – National


When Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, the Royal Family announced her passing with an elegant black-and-white portrait.

The queen was photographed with wise eyes and a slight smile, conveying a tranquil, soothing demeanour as she looks past the camera. The Royal Family wrote that she had “died peacefully at Balmoral.”

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth taken by Jane Bown in February 2006. This photo was used to announce the queen’s death on Sept. 8, 2022.

Royal Trust Collection

The photograph was snapped over 15 years ago in February 2006 for the queen’s 80th birthday, captured by a renowned photographer who was also a woman in her 80s at the time: Jane Bown.

Story continues below advertisement

Bown was born a year before the queen and had been working as a professional photographer since the late 1940s, according to the Royal Collection Trust. For decades she honed her craft as a principal contributor to The Observer and she died in 2014 as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her contributions to photography.

Read more:

Queen Elizabeth death — What’s next for Canada’s 10 days of mourning

Despite the high accolades she garnered, Bown remained humble about her work.

At her CBE ceremony in 1995, Queen Elizabeth called her an artist, to which Bown replied, “I am not an artist, I’m just a hack.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Royal Collection Trust calls her technique “unpretentious,” adding that she is known for “working at speed, using only available light, and for working in black and white rather than colour.”

Read more:

Queen Elizabeth II — The sweetest, funniest moments from her reign

The result of her simple and pragmatic process is photography that feels approachable and evocative.

As a photographer who grew up in an age where black and white was the only option, Bown found colour photography to be “noisy and distracting.” She tried her hand at it briefly in the 1960s when the technology became available, but said she preferred the “simplicity and directness of black and white.”

“It emphasizes the underlying patterns of light and dark and confers a natural harmony on the subject,” she said.

Read more:

Queen Elizabeth II has died. Here’s what’s next for King Charles III

Perhaps that’s why the queen requested that Bown, specifically, be the one to photograph her for her 80th birthday.

In a 2014 interview with The Independent, right before her death, Bown recalled the photo shoot that resulted in the now-famous portrait.

Story continues below advertisement

“I circled the chair, running off about three rolls.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taken by Jane Bown in February 2006.

Royal Collection Trust

“I like the shot of the Queen smiling gently as her lady-in-waiting came into the room.”

The palace ended up choosing the more formal portrait between the two, featuring a more restrained smile.

In its description of the portrait, the Royal Collection Trust wrote: “Photograph of a head and shoulder length portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926). She is seated, facing three-quarters right and smiles. The Queen wears pearl earrings and a pearl necklace. Taken at Buckingham Palace in 2006.”

Portrait of King Charles III taken by Jane Bown in 1985 at Clarence House.

Royal Collection Trust

Bown photographed other royals throughout her life, including the queen’s son, Prince Charles, now King Charles III, and her daughter, Princess Anne.

Story continues below advertisement

Portrait of Princess Anne taken by Jane Bown in 1980.

Royal Collection Trust

The portraits similarly have a quiet elegance with a flash of theatrics, more pronounced in the dramatic lighting of Princess Anne’s portrait.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Vigour Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment
Enable Notifications OK No thanks