An Unseen Photo Of Princess Diana Has Been Unveiled

·5 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Article updated on 03/03/2022: Last January, it was revealed that the exhibition Life Through a Royal Lens, which opens at Kensington Palace on March 4, would allow the public to submit their own photos of the royal family, for the chance to have them displayed at the event, alongside those of world-renowned photographers.

At the time, we also learned that the exhibition would display images of the royal family members, such as those of the Queen and The Queen Mother taken by Cecil Beaton.

Now, it's been disclosed that an unseen photograph of Princess Diana, captured by lauded portrait photographer David Bailey, will also appear in the exhibition.

The black and white photo of Diana, Princess of Wales was taken by Bailey in 1988, after he was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, as it wanted a new portrait of her by an acclaimed British photographer.

While photographer Norman Parkinson had originally been suggested for the job, Princess Diana was understood to have wanted Bailey, a prominent name in fashion photography and commended for his pared-back sensibility.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Myriad photos from the shoot were obtained for the collection, but Bailey opted to keep the aforementioned photo for his archive, which, until now, hasn't been seen by the public.

Princess Diana, known for being one of the most photographed women in the world, was the second royal to sit for Bailey, following Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret’s husband, whose career spanned over six decades.

News of Princess Dian's unseen photograph comes after royal photographer Anwar Hussein opened up about his private moments with the late royal, at which point he told People: 'I saw every side of Diana. She was a genuine, good human being.

'You could see her go from shy Di, looking down, to becoming stronger — which she had to do. She wanted to prove she was brave enough to do what she wanted.'

He added that 'she also knew which pictures would go around the world'.

Article originally published on 18/01/2022

We were thrilled to learn earlier this month that Kate Middleton's 40th birthday portraits are set to form part of a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens next year, but the subject of royal photography just got more exciting.

It's now been revealed that members of the public are invited to contribute to an exhibition at Kensington Palace, named Life Through a Royal Lens, celebrating images of the monarchy.

People can submit their own photos of the family, taken at official royal engagements, and what's more, the chosen images will feature alongside heralded photos taken by world-renowned photographers, too, including the likes of Rankin, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Parkinson.

Not to mention, a selection of images taken by the royal family themselves will also be displayed - for the first time.

The late former husband of Princess Margaret and former resident of the palace, Lord Snowdown (born Antony Armstrong Jones) is one of the royal family members whose work will feature.

Photo credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon - Getty Images
Photo credit: John Shelley Collection/Avalon - Getty Images

Those who watched series two of Netflix royal drama The Crown would have seen some of Lord Snowdown's artwork portrayed in the series.

The exhibition, which opens on March 4, is set to spotlight the closeness between sovereign and subjects over two centuries, as outlined by Historical Royal Places (HRP).

Of the iconic images to be included in the exhibition, those representing high glamour - think Cecil Beaton's photos of the Queen and The Queen Mother's aspirational fashion in the Victorian era - will mingle with the more effortless, understated images of royals in the digital age.

Curators from independent charity HRP, which is responsible for the state apartments at Kensington Palace, are asking the worldwide public to contribute to the display with their own photos as of January 17.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Claudia Acott Williams, a Curator at HRP, said, per The Independent: 'We can’t wait to see images shared from royal visits around the globe, and it’ll certainly be a tough challenge to whittle them down to the chosen few, which will be displayed amongst legendary photographers.'

And as many as 20 photos submitted by the public will be displayed in the exhibition, which focuses on the royal family's relationship with the camera.

The HRP curators have suggested those wanting to submit photographers can think along the lines of what's it's like to be a 'royal walkabout'.

A week ago, Middleton's portrait photos, in commemoration of her milestone birthday, were revealed as having been inspired by 18th century photos taken of royal family members, such as those of Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953, taken by Cecil Beaton, who also shot Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

Paolo Roversi, the photographer of Middleton's portrait photos, spoke to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera about the subtle references to photographs taken by Beaton of the Queen Mother in the late 1930s.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Roversi recalled the Duchess - who herself studied Victorian photography at university during her art history degree at St, Andrews - showing him mid-19th century artwork from photographers such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir David Coyle Burne-Jones 'to give me inspiration'.

The photographs also subtly referenced The Queen and Princess Diana, by way of the jewellery Middleton wore in the images, of which showed her in voluminous looks by Alexander McQueen.

As for whether the photographs that inspired Middleton's portraits will be in the exhibition, we'll watch this space.

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