The Palace Is Displaying a Never-Before-Seen Photo of Princess Diana
A new photo of Princess Diana is going on display at her former home of Kensington Palace. It's one of the most striking images on display at Life Through a Royal Lens, a new exhibition that also features never-before-seen photographs of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Famed photographer David Bailey shot the black-and-white portrait of Diana, who sat for the session back in 1988, when she was 27 years old. Historic Royal Palaces curators describe her expression as "reserved, stoic and looking away from the viewer." The National Portrait Gallery originally commissioned the photo, but this specific frame was in Bailey's private collection until now.
"For me, it is the most powerful of images from the sitting," curator Claudia Acott Williams told People. The photo, along with others in the exhibit, will be on display starting March 4.
The previously unseen image of the queen and Philip is an outtake. If it looks familiar, it's because the same session offered up an official portrait that commemorated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2017.
"This speaks to their relationship with each other — it tells us of the chemistry of them, a husband and wife and not just monarch and consort," Acott Williams says. "She had created a warm and informal presence but was retreating from the camera. This was something different."
Other photos date back to the reign of Queen Victoria. The exhibit showcases the relationship between photographers and the royals and includes portraits, candid images, and moments captured at official state ceremonies and events. Life Through a Royal Lens also includes a few images from the royal Instagram accounts and photos submitted by the public.
Acott Williams noted that the royal family knew that the medium of photography would be important, saying, "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."