Official Diamond Jubilee photographs released

Published 06 February 2012

Two specially commissioned Diamond Jubilee photographs of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been released for first publication to mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Accession.

A further photograph, taken at the same sitting, is available for publication on Sunday, 12th February.

The Photographs, by Mr John Swannell, were taken in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace in December 2011.

Two images from this sitting are available on the Diamond Jubilee web site which was launched today. They can be downloaded for free use by private individuals and by non-profit making organisations such as schools, charities, military organisations and local authorities.

The new Diamond Jubilee website will feature the latest news, photographs and announcements about the Diamond Jubilee, along with historical information about The Queen’s 60 year reign.

Visitors can search an events map to find Royal engagements taking place near them in Jubilee year and send a congratulatory message to The Queen. They will also be able to test their knowledge of all things Royal in a series of quizzes and picture puzzles, as well as find out more about Her Majesty’s life and times on an interactive timeline.

The website will also include 60 facts about The Queen and her Reign.

Background (Photographs):
Mr. John Swannell
Previous Royal sittings by Mr Swannell include:
1984 The Duchess of Gloucester
1990 HRH The Princess Royal (Official photograph to celebrate her 40th birthday)
1991 Princess Alexandra & The Hon Sir Angus Ogilvy
1995 Viscount & Lady Linley
1999 HM Queen Elizabeth II, HM The Queen Mother, HRH Prince Charles, HRH
Prince William (Commemorative stamp to celebrate The Queen Mother’s 100th
1999 The Earl & Countess of Wessex (Commemorative stamp to celebrate their
1999 Lord Frederick Windsor (editorial)
2000 HRH The Princess Royal (Official photograph to celebrate her 50th birthday)
2002 The Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh (to celebrate The
Queen’s Golden Jubilee)
2005 The Countess of Wessex (for The Girl Guide Association)
2008 HRH Prince Charles (for The Prince’s Rainforests Project)
2008 The Earl of Wessex (Regimental photographs)
2008 Viscount Severn (Official Christening photographs)
2008 Prince & Princess Michael of Kent (to celebrate their 30th wedding
2009 The Countess of Wessex
2010 HRH The Princess Royal (Official photograph to celebrate her 60th birthday)

Mr Swannell said: “This is the third time I've had the pleasure of photographing Her Majesty, and I always find these events very exciting.

“Although it was quite an intricate shoot which I had to set up the day before, I had a tremendous amount of help from her personal staff, which made the project very enjoyable and rewarding.

“The Queen and Prince Philip, I thought, were patient and very relaxed on the day, which I hope is reflected in the photographs.”

The Queen’s dress and The Duke of Edinburgh’s uniform:
The Queen is wearing a State Dress of white silk, satin and lace with silver coloured sequins. The dress has a flowing scalloped edge, and was created in Buckingham Palace by Miss Angela Kelly.

The Queen is wearing the State Diadem, a circlet of diamonds, created in 1820. The Queen wears this during the procession to and from the State Opening of Parliament, and wore it on her Coronation Day, for the procession to Westminster Abbey.

The Queen is also wearing Queen Victoria’s Collet Necklace which has been worn by five generations of Royal Ladies (Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) and the present Queen). Queen Victoria (The Queen’s great-great grandmother) wore this necklace for her own official Diamond Jubilee photograph (issued in 1897).

On the blue Garter Riband (or sash) The Queen is wearing the Royal Family Orders of her grand father, King George V, and father, King George VI.

The Queen is wearing the Garter Star.

The Duke of Edinburgh:
The Duke of Edinburgh is wearing Royal Navy ceremonial day dress (Admiral of the Fleet) with Garter Sash.

His Royal Highness’ medals are (from left to right):
Queen’s Service Order, New Zealand
1939-1945 Star
Atlantic Star
Africa Star
Burma Star (with Pacific Rosette)
Italy Star
War Medal 1939-1945, with Mention in Dispatches
King George VI Coronation Medal, 1937
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, 1953
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
Canadian Forces Decoration (4 Bars)
New Zealand Commemoration Medal, 1990
Malta George Cross 50th Anniversary Medal, 1992
Greek War Cross, 1950
Croix de Guerre (France) with Palm, 1948

Centre Room (location of the photographic shoot) and Queen Victoria Memorial:
The Centre Room is so-called because it is at the centre of a new wing built at Buckingham Palace from 1848. Its construction created the Palace Quadrangle; before the building had been in an open horseshoe format.

It is from the Centre Room which The Queen and the Royal Family have stepped onto the balcony during celebratory moments such as Coronation Day, Trooping the Colour and Royal Wedding days.

The Victoria Memorial, seen from the window of the Centre Room, commemorates the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) the only Monarch, other than the present Queen, to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee (1897). At its pinnacle is a gilt-bronze figure of Victory, supported by Courage and Constancy.

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