The Por­TraiT of MajesTy

Harper's Bazaar (India) - - FABULOUS AT EVERY AGE -

SINCE ITS LAUNCH in 2012, the Bri­tish govern­ment’s GREAT cam­paign—a global ini­tia­tive de­signed to in­crease trade and tourism—has gone a long way to­ward rais­ing aware­ness around the world of the best and bright­est that the coun­try has to of­fer. Hun­dreds of high-pro­file people, from David Beck­ham to Richard Bran­son, have par­tic­i­pated in the ef­fort to date, and in its in­au­gu­ral year it gen­er­ated more than £500 mil­lion in eco­nomic re­turns in the UK. The royal fam­ily has even got­ten in­volved: Prince Harry helped kick off the pro­gramme with an event on Su­gar Loaf Moun­tain in Rio de Janeiro, and the Duchess of Cam­bridge at­tended a re­cep­tion at the Royal Academy of Arts cel­e­brat­ing Bri­tain’s cre­ative in­dus­tries.

Now, in recog­ni­tion of the work of the GREAT Bri­tain cam­paign, Queen El­iz­a­beth sat this past March for a se­ries of por­traits by the leg­endary pho­tog­ra­pher David Bai­ley. For more than five decades, Bai­ley—a prime ex­am­ple of Bri­tish cre­ativ­ity if there ever was one—has made im­ages of men and of women, of politi­cians and of rock stars, of overlords and of un­der­dogs, that have pro­vided both the lens and the con­text through which much of Bri­tish cul­ture of the era is of­ten viewed. Of course, we’re all fas­ci­nated by the Bri­tish royal fam­ily, and big, tran­scen­dent cul­tural mo­ments like He­len Mir­ren’s Os­car-win­ning por­trayal of El­iz­a­beth in 2006’s The Queen, Wil­liam and Kate’s wed­ding, and the birth of Prince Ge­orge have all pro­vided a more mod­ern—and in many ways, more hu­man—per­spec­tive on their lives. These por­traits of the Queen by Bai­ley are in that vein, and we are pleased to pub­lish them and present them to the world for the first time in the pages of Bazaar.

Here, the nov­el­ist Fay Wel­don, one of the great lionesses of mod­ern English lit­er­a­ture and a long­time friend of Bai­ley’s, of­fers her own per­sonal take on these ex­tra­or­di­nary im­ages and the great new Bri­tain that they rep­re­sent. — Harper’s Bazaar

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