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Have you snapped the Queen? Chance for public to see own royal photos on show

Members of the public are being asked to submit their own snapshots of the royal family, with the chance to see them exhibited alongside some of the most legendary royal photographs in history.

Life Through A Royal Lens, which opens at Kensington Palace on March 4, includes work by renowned photographers Norman Parkinson, Rankin, Annie Leibovitz and Cecil Beaton.

It will also feature behind-the-scenes pictures of an off-duty royal family, plus a selection of images taken by the Windsors themselves, which will be going on display at the west London palace for the first time.

The Queen in her garter robes photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1968
The Queen in her garter robes photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1968

This includes pictures by the Duchess of Cambridge, who is a keen photographer and usually takes the publicly released photos of her children to mark their birthdays.

Starting on Monday, royal fans can submit their own visual memories of the Queen and her relatives at hrp.org.uk, with Historic Royal Palaces suggesting a particular focus on royal walkabouts – which have become a rarity in times of Covid.

The photos must be of official engagements. Paparazzi-style shots taken by the public when the royals are spending time privately will not be accepted.

Up to 20 of the photos will be chosen by Kensington Palace’s curators to go on show as part of a revolving digital display.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit to NI – Day 2
The Duchess of Cambridge during a walkabout outside the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena in 2019 (Niall Carson/PA)

They will join images such as intimate family portraits commissioned by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, and Beaton’s portraits of the Queen and the Queen Mother.

The exhibition, charting almost 200 years of royal photography, will explore the stiff formality of the Victorian era, the high glamour of Beaton’s photographs, and the relaxed informality of the digital age.

Work by celebrated photographer Lord Snowdon, who was married to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, will also be on show, portraying a “different, sometimes rebellious, fashionable and more informal side to the royal family”.

Photoshoots such as the Duke of Cambridge’s cover of Attitude Magazine and Kate’s centenary issue of British Vogue in 2016 will “explore how photography and image remain central to the public’s perception of the modern royal family today”.

Claudia Acott Williams, curator at HRP, said: “We’re so excited to invite the public to be part of our upcoming Kensington Palace exhibition in this unique way.

“We can’t wait to see images shared from royal visits around the globe, and it’ll certainly be a tough challenge to whittle them down to the chosen few, which will be displayed amongst legendary photographers.

“We look forward to welcoming our visitors into the world of royal photography, to explore the history behind the iconic image of modern monarchy we know today.”

Princess Margaret aged 19 by Cecil Beaton
Princess Margaret aged 19 by Cecil Beaton (Cecil Beaton/Victoria and Albert Museum, London/PA)

Budding photographers must be aged over 18 and have until January 31 to submit their images. You can submit a photo here.

Life Through a Royal Lens opens at Kensington Palace on March 4, 2022, and is included in palace admission.


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