First Look: This New London Exhibit has an Unseen Photo of Princess Diana - Arts & Culture

The public was also invited to submit their photos of royals during official engagements.

Starting today, a new exhibit titled “Life Through a Royal Lens” runs in London’s Kensington Palace. It will showcase photographs of the British Royal Family over the last 200 years, including an unseen image of Princess Diana. 

Photographed by David Bailey in 1988, the People’s Princess is seen looking away from the camera with a seemingly somber expression.

“Much more standard presentations of Diana, warmly looking at the camera,” Kensington Palace curator Claudia Acott Williams told Town & Country. “This for me is the most powerful. It shows her in a completely different light. In a way, her retreating from the camera a bit and showing something that’s a bit more stoic was actually her doing something completely different.”

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Baley, now aged 84, also shot Queen Elizabeth II to mark her 88th birthday in 2014. 

According to Kensington Palace, the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate, the Royals have had a relationship with photography since its infancy. Photographs of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from that era, the 19th century, will also be shared. 

In line with this, the oldest photograph displayed is Prince Albert’s portrait from 1842, shot by historical photographer William Constable. Other renowned photographers involved royals Annie Leibovitz, Norman Parkinson, Leigh Kelly, and Rankin.

“As soon as Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II) walked in the room, it was an absolute avalanche of power,” Rankin said in the exhibit’s video on photographing the Queen. “You’re looking through the lens and at the person. And that’s why [photographers] have a very intimate relationship—with the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.” 

For Kelly, he wanted to capture Prince Wiliam with a straightforward approach. “[The images showed] Prince William without any fancy tricks, without any fancy lighting,” he said in the same promotional video. 

Beyond the famous photographers, Historic Royal Palaces involved the public in completing the exhibition. In fact, fifty out of the 1,000 photos on display were taken by royal watchers. The independent charity organization requested submissions and narrowed them down, only accepting images taken in official engagements. Paparazzi-style shots of Royals during their personal time were not permitted.

“Ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first embraced the revolutionary new technology of photography, the medium has shaped how the world views the British monarchy,’ Williams told Daily Mail.”

“It has allowed the Royal Family to offer fascinating insights into their life and work, transforming the royal image and creating an unprecedented relationship between crown and subjects.”

Banner photo from @historicroyalpalaces on Instagram

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