Queen’s Dorothy Wilding Portraits, 1952

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Less than three weeks after her Accession to the Throne, Queen Elizabeth II posed for a series of portraits in a sitting for the society photographer Dorothy Wilding on this day in 1952, with a total of fifty-nine photographs taken by the time of the second sitting in April (which will be the subject of another article then). The portraits were the basis of the Queen’s image on coins and postage stamps from 1952 to this day, in Britain and around the Commonwealth, as well as providing the official portrait of the Queen sent to government buildings and every British and Commonwealth embassy throughout the world.

The Norman Hartnell Gowns and the Jewels used for the Portraits were likely outfit pairing planned for the then Princess Elisabeth’s long Tour of the Commonwealth in 1952, which ended in days after her father’s death and her sudden accession to the Throne.

The Queen’s most iconic portraits were taken wearing a Norman Hartnell Gown and the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara.

The Queen also wore a Norman Hartnell Gown with the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace, and for a few portraits, the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara.

The Queen was also photographed wearing her South African Diamond Necklace.


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