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Princess Anne; Prince Charles; Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

254 of 285 portraits by Lord Snowdon

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© Armstrong Jones

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Princess Anne; Prince Charles; Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

by Lord Snowdon
bromide print, 10 October 1957
11 1/4 in. x 9 in. (286 mm x 230 mm)
Purchased, 1985
Photographs Collection
NPG x32733

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 23 Read entry


  • Gittings, Clare, Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I: An Educational Resource Pack, 2003
  • Moorhouse, Paul and Cannadine, David (appreciation), The Queen: Art and Image, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 17 May to 21 October 2012), p. 70 Read entry

    Alongside formal studio images of the Queen by Wilding and Beaton, photographs such as this one by Antony Armstrong-Jones (later Lord Snowdon) presented the Queen with her family and emphasised domestic themes. Such images conveyed a sense that, beneath the mantle of her unique position, the Queen shared everyday human values.

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 277 Read entry

    The sitters are (left to right): The Princess Royal, Mrs Mark Phillips born 1950; Charles, Prince of Wales born 1948; The Queen; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh born 1921.

    As Tony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon began his professional career in 1951 as assistant to the society photographer Baron, and opened his own studio on the Pimlico Road, London, in 1953. He has worked as a freelance photographer for many magazines, among them Vogue,The Tatler, and Harper's Bazaar, and in 1962 was appointed artistic adviser to The Sunday Times. He acknowledges the influence of his uncle, the stage-designer Oliver Messel, on his life and work, and his early photographs especially show an ingenuity of presentation which can be theatrical. His later work, especially his studies of the old, disabled or handicapped, for whom he feels a special concern - he designed a chairmobile for the disabled (1972) - though it is more documentary in character, is filled with compassion.

    He photographed The Queen, Prince Philip and their two eldest children in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in 1957, three years before his own marriage to Princess Margaret. Only twenty minutes were available for the sitting, so he planned it carefully in advance, submitting a sketch of the composition for approval. He intended to base the photograph on eighteenth-century paintings, and the royal children were to be shown fishing. For this purpose he hired a rod, and bought two trout from the fishmonger. He records that

    on the morning of the assignment, Mrs Peabody, who looked after me in Pimlico, came in with breakfast. 'I thought you needed a good start to the day today', she said; and I took off the lid to find she had grilled the trout quite beautifully.

    The royal children were therefore shown reading a book.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1957back to top

Current affairs

Harold Macmillan takes over as Conservative prime minister, manoeuvring Eden out of power after his poor handling of the Suez Crisis the previous year.
The Wolfenden Report recommends that homosexuality should no longer be a criminal offence. It still took ten years, however, before any changes were made to the law on homosexuality with the Sexual Offences Act in 1967.

Art and science

The Today Programme is first broadcast on Radio 4. This early morning current affairs programme is known for breaking major stories early, and for its hard-hitting approach and touch interviewing style. Presenters have included: Robert Robinson, Brian Redhead, Libby Purves, Jenni Murray, Sue MacGregor, John Humphrys, Anna Ford and James Naughtie.


The Treaty of Rome leads to the formation of the European Economic Community. Officially beginning on 1st January 1958, the EEC established a European Common Market, where goods, services, labour and capital could move freely within the European member countries, and shared policies were agreed for labour, social welfare, agriculture, transport, and foreign trade. The EEC preceded the European Community, and the European Union.

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