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Queen Elizabeth II; King George VI; Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; Princess Margaret

12 of 536 portraits of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Queen Elizabeth II; King George VI; Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; Princess Margaret, by Marcus Adams, 1938 - NPG P140(13) - © estate of Marcus Adams / Camera Press

© estate of Marcus Adams / Camera Press

Queen Elizabeth II; King George VI; Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; Princess Margaret

by Marcus Adams
bromide print, 1938
14 in. x 10 1/4 in. (357 mm x 260 mm)
Purchased, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG P140(13)

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  • Marcus Adams (1875-1959), Photographer. Artist associated with 110 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The shy and sensitive younger brother of Edward VIII, George VI had been prepared from birth for a life of public service but not for the throne. Undoubtedly the abdication of his brother was a shock to him, and he came to the throne a man who had 'never seen a State Paper'. The whole of his reign was overshadowed by the Second World War and its after-effects, and he brought to the monarchy at a crucial time an innate good sense, great courage and an unswerving sense of duty. During the war years he and his family were a powerful symbol of national unity and stability. This portrait of the Royal family includes their pet corgi Dookie who was lured into the composition with a biscuit placed on the king's shoe.

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Current affairs

Britain pursues its policy of appeasement. At the Munich Agreement, Britain, France and Italy agreed to allow Hitler to seize the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. The agreement was seen at the time as a triumph for peace, with Neville Chamberlain returning home brandishing the paper agreement and saying 'peace for our time.' Within six months Germany had occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.

Art and science

Graham Greene publishes Brighton Rock. The novel follows the decent of Pinky, a teenage gang leader in Brighton's criminal underworld. The book examines the criminal mind and explores the themes of morality and sin - recurrent concerns for the Roman Catholic Author. Glasgow hosts the Empire Exhibition; an £11 million celebration of the British Empire visited by 13 million people.


In its pursuit of 'Lebensraum' (living space), Germany annexes Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia with little opposition from the League of Nations. At home, the Nazis continued their escalating persecution of the Jews with 'Kristallnach' (the Night of Broken Glass), attacking Jewish homes, shops, businesses and synagogues, and taking Jewish men to concentration camps.

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