Queen Elizabeth II
© William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London
Queen Elizabeth II
by Dorothy Wilding, hand-coloured by Beatrice Johnson
hand-coloured bromide print, 26 February 1952
9 5/8 in. x 7 5/8 in. (245 mm x 195 mm)
Given by the photographer's sister, Susan Morton, 1976
Artistsback to top
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 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.
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. 200
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Face of Monarchy (11 February 2006 - 6 September 2006)
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.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
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