Kensington Palace to display photos of Queen Elizabeth II taken by the public

Exhibition will show UK royal family pictures taken by amateurs alongside those taken by more illustrious photographers

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 80th birthday in Windsor in 2006 with a multitude of camera-wielding royal fans. Photo: Tim Graham
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People in Britain are being asked to submit their photos of the UK royal family, with the chance to see them exhibited alongside some of the most well known 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.

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

The photos must be from 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.

200 years of royal history

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 late 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 the Duchess of Cambridge'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".

The Duchess of Cambridge will feature prominently in the exhibition. AP

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

"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."

Budding photographers must be over 18 and have until January 31 to submit their images.

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

Updated: January 18, 2022, 2:53 PM