Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II
by Dorothy Wilding
cream-toned bromide print, 15 April 1952
16 3/4 in. x 13 5/8 in. (426 mm x 346 mm)
Given by the photographer's sister, Susan Morton, 1976
Artistback to top
- Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976), Photographer. Artist associated with 2177 portraits, Sitter in 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Wilding first photographed the Queen as a child in 1937, at the coronation of her father King George VI. She subsequently made portraits of the Queen on numerous significant occasions. To mark her accession and coronation in 1952, the Queen posed for Wilding fifty-nine times, wearing evening gowns by Norman Hartnell. Copies of the best images were sent to every embassy in the world, formed the basis of images on bank notes and appeared on millions of stamps.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1952back to top
Current affairsKing George VI is found dead in his bed in Sandringham; he had been suffering from lung cancer. His daughter Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, became Queen, the only monarch not to know the precise moment of her accession as her father was alone when he died. Elizabeth was crowned the following year.
Art and scienceSamuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot is performed for the first time in Paris. The play belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd style, which influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap opens in London. It is still going.
InternationalMau Mau rebels in Kenya rise up against the British colonial administration. The rebellion was sparked by the growing poverty of the native farmers under the rule of white settlers and called for Kenyan independence. The violence of the rebels, who often murdered settlers and loyalists, was met by the indiscriminate suppression by the British Military, who executed hundreds of suspects.
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