Queen Elizabeth II

© Cecil Beaton / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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Queen Elizabeth II

by Cecil Beaton
chromogenic print, November 1955
19 1/4 in. x 15 1/4 in. (490 mm x 388 mm) sight
Given by Mr Ford Hill and the American Friends of the National Portrait Gallery (London) Foundation, Inc., 2015
Primary Collection
NPG P1460

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist or producer associated with 1114 portraits, Sitter associated with 360 portraits.

Events of 1955back to top

Current affairs

Robert Anthony Eden becomes prime minister. In May 1955 Winston Churchill resigned due to ill health. His successor proved to be a similarly popular leader, winning an increased majority at the general election that year. Eden's popularity was due to a combination of his long wartime service, good looks and charm.

Art and science

Mary Quant introduces the 'Chelsea Look' with her Bazaar boutique. In the 1960s Quant was a major contributor to 'swinging London' introducing some of the seminal items of 1960s fashion: the miniskirt, hot pants, paint-box make-up and plastic raincoats.

International

West Germany joins NATO, prompting the East European Communist counties to respond by forming the Warsaw Pact. The signatories of the Warsaw Pact pledged to defend each other if any member was attacked. This development was a major event in the Cold War as it firmly established the East and West as opposing military powers.

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