Exhibition captures glimpse of royal life

WITH a new royal couple poised to embark on a future together next year, a unique record of photographs looking back to the past will be unveiled in the Capital.

More than 100 photographs of the royal family will go on display at The Queen's Gallery to celebrate the work of Marcus Adams.

The royal photographer created a unique record of two generations of royal children between 1926 and 1956.

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Marcus Adams: Royal Photographer, which runs from February 25 to June 5, will coincide with next year's marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and allow visitors to get an intimate glimpse of family life.

The Queen's Gallery says Mr Adams overturned the long tradition of formal portraiture and presented a fresh, natural and vibrant view of royalty.

Among the highlights is a series of photographs of the Queen when she was seven months old from the first time Princess Elizabeth met the royal photographer on December 2, 1926.

More pictures captured her life at home during the first half of 1927 when the Duke and Duchess of York, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, embarked on a six-month tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The exhibition also includes portraits of the couple reunited with their young daughter, just three days after their return to London at the end of June.

A spokeswoman for The Queen's Gallery said: "Marcus Adams: Royal Photographer holds the most comprehensive group of royal Marcus Adams portraits in existence and the exhibition will include photographs from all the royal sittings between 1926 and 1956.

"Visitors will be able to enjoy charmingly informal photographs of royal children, many of which are from the personal collection of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, which makes this exhibition unique."

Other highlights of the collection include several informal portraits of Princess Elizabeth with her parents and young sister, Princess Margaret, from June 1931, while the princesses sat for the photographer in February 1939, in what was their last picture before the outbreak of the Second World War.

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Finally the exhibition includes a portrait of the royal family taken just four days after the Duke of York ascended to the throne on December 11, 1936.

Although tight-lipped about his long relationship with the Royal Family, Mr Adams once revealed: "I have had more joy from that family than from any. They are full of fun."

• www.royalcollection.org.uk