Her Majesty is photographed in the Green Drawing Room with, from left to right, James and Lousie - son and daughter of the Wessexes, the little darling holding the Queen's handbag is Mia Tindall, daughter of Zara and Mike, Princess Charlotte on the Queen's lap, Savannah Phillips, Prince George and Isla Phillips. Savannah and Isla are the daughters of Peter and Autumn.
It's a real treat to see a photo of the monarch holding her youngest great-grandchild Charlotte. The Princess celebrates her first birthday on 2 May and it's lovely to see a recent photo of her. She's grown quite a bit and reminds me of both her grandmother Carole Middleton and her great-grandmother the Queen when she was a child. Who do you think she resembles? It is understood Kate took her own snaps on the day - for the family album.
More from the Mail Online:
'Cheeky little Mia Tindall can be seen proudly holding up her great-granny’s £1,000 Launer handbag in a moment, says one who was there, that was totally unscripted. The moment with Mia was completely spontaneous, it was not staged at all. She just picked up her great-granny’s handbag and that was it,’ they said. It was, they revealed, a ‘happy, chaotic, warm afternoon’ with the parents of the children all present and trying to catch their offspring’s eye.
Taking pictures of children is like herding cats but for that split second, it just worked. Annie [Leibovitz ] has children of her own and knows her stuff. There was a very definite idea behind the set,’ said a royal aide. ‘The Queen wanted a portrait of the youngest members of the family, the other end of the generational spectrum. You have the two youngest grandchildren, who are quite a lot younger than the others, and the great-grandchildren. It was a happy, nice, relaxed afternoon. There was a lovely feeling to it. All the parents were helping to get the shot right – a classic composition, rather like an Old Master but with a modern twist.'
A closer look at Charlotte and George.
And as requested, a close up of Mia Tindall :)
Her Majesty was photographed with her daughter Princess Anne in the White Drawing Room at Windsor.
Annie Leibovitz also captured Her Majesty with her two corgis, Willow and Holly, and two dorgis – corgi-dachshund crosses – Candy and Vulcan on the stone steps at the East Terrace of the castle's private grounds.
American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz has gained worldwide fame for her work. In 1970 she landed a job at Rolling Stone and went on to create a distinctive look for the publication. Her work has taken her to Vanity Fair, and on to a host of campaigns and exhibitions. Below, her photographs of Angelina Jolie, President Barack Obama and Cate Blanchett.
Indeed, it isn't the first time the photographer has worked with Her Majesty. Ms Leibovitz took a selection of memorable photographs of the Queen in 2007.
The photoshoot led to quite a bit of controversy at the time. More from the Telegraph:
"Leibovitz's encounter with the Queen at Buckingham Palace last year was filmed for a BBC documentary series. The footage led to 'Queengate', when a trailer was misleadingly edited to give the impression that the Queen had stormed out in a huff, and led to the resignation of BBC1 controller Peter Fincham. During the shoot, Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her "crown" - actually a tiara - for a "less dressy" shot. The Queen, wearing a ceremonial robe, retorted: "Less dressy? What do you think this is?"
Writing about the exchange in a new book, serialised in the October issue of Vanity Fair, Leibovitz said: "I thought she was being funny. English humour. But I noticed that the dresser and everyone else who had been working with her were staying about 20 feet away from her."
The Queen was late for the sitting and the entire shoot was done in less than 25 minutes, Leibovitz added. She went on: "Right after we finished, I went up to the press secretary and said how much I loved the Queen. How feisty she was. Later I mentioned to a couple of friends that she had been a bit cranky, but it was nothing unusual."
The photo of the Queen with the children proved a favourite for the papers.
|The Mirror / The Telegraph|
Princess Charlotte wore a pink patterned dress by Spanish brand M & H. You'll note the outfit is incredibly similar to the cardigan and dress by the brand Charlotte wore for six-month photographs and the family's Christmas photos. M & H confirmed the dress and cardigan come from their winter collection. Charlotte also wore tights from Amaia Kids and white shoes.
Big brother George wore the £36 Fina Ejerique Wool Blend Knitted Cardigan (with thanks to Prince George Pieces) and a shirt with a peter pan collar, shorts, his Amaia Kids socks and shoes.
If there're any updates to ID's on items worn by George and Charlotte, the post will be amended to include the information.
To mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday, Prince William has given a series of interviews opening up on a range of topics, including his admiration for his grandmother, fatherhood, his vision for the monarchy, and his reaction to recent criticism. I particularly enjoyed his interview with the BBC's Nicholas Witchell - the veteran correspondent has quite a history covering the royals. Prince Charles was famously overheard saying, "I can't bear that man. He's so awful, he really is," during a photo session at Klosters ski resort with William and Harry in 2005. Thankfully, his interview with William went very well indeed.
A few of the most interesting quotes from the interviews. When asked if he shared the Queen's devotion and duty:
"I think royal duty is extremely important. It’s part of the fabric of what the Royal family and any future monarch has. I take my responsibilities very seriously, but it’s about finding your own way at the right time, and if you’re not careful, duty can sort of weigh you down an awful lot at a very early age, and I think you’ve got to develop into the duty role."
When asked if he is a reluctant royal:
"To be honest, I’m going to get plenty of criticism over my lifetime and it’s something that I don’t completely ignore, but it’s not something I take completely to heart. I’m concentrating very much on my role as a father - I’m a new father and I take my duties and my responsibilities to my family very seriously, and I want to bring my children up as good people with the idea of service and duty to others as very important. But if I can’t give my time to my children as well, I worry about their future.
Plus… I find the air ambulance role very important to me; it’s serving the community, working alongside extremely good professionals in the medical profession, and then there’re my royal responsibilities which I still keep going. And when the Queen decides she’s going to hand down more responsibilities, I’ll be the first person to accept them."
When asked if he has the full support of the Queen and his father:
"Absolutely. My grandmother and my father are 150 per cent supportive behind everything that I’m doing – and Harry and Catherine. They very much understand whilst my grandmother is still extremely active at the helm of the Royal family, as the monarch. My father is incredibly busy with his charitable activities and other responsibilities – there’s the time now and the space to explore other means of doing a worthwhile job. And for me, the air ambulance is an incredibly important part. It’s not going to last forever, but I think it’s important."
When pressed on how long he expects to remain with the EAAA:
"I’ve a contract and when that contract runs out that will probably be the time that I finish."
On what sort of king he hopes to be:
"It’s something that occupies a lot of my thinking space as to how on earth you would develop into something modern in today’s world. I think the Royal family has to modernise and develop as it goes along and it has to stay relevant and that’s the challenge for me. How do I make the Royal family relevant in the next 20 years’ time - you know - it could be 40 years’ time, it could be 60 years’ time - I have no idea when that’s going to be and I certainly don’t lie awake waiting or hoping for it because it sadly means my family have moved on and I don’t want that."
William was also asked whether George had any inkling he would one day be king:
"As far as we’re concerned, within our family unit we are a normal family. I love my children the same way any father does and I hope George loves me the same way any son does his father, so we are very normal in that sense. And there’ll be a time and a place to bring George up and understand how he fits in the world. But right now, it’s just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment around him and showing him as much love as I can as a father."
In another interview with Sky's Rhiannon Mills, William spoke of the Queen's influence on his life since he lost his mother and recalled a funny incident. Rhiannon shared this image from the interview via Twitter.
On having the Queen as a strong influence after his mother died:
"She's been a very strong female influence, and having lost my mother at a young age, it's been particularly important to me that I've had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who's been there and who has understood some of the more, um, complex issues when you lose a loved one. So she's been incredibly supportive and I've really appreciated her guidance."
And a childhood incident at Balmoral he's never forgotten:
"We were on a quad bike in Balmoral and we were chasing Zara around who was on a go-cart. Peter and I managed to herd Zara into a lamppost and the lamppost came down and nearly squashed her. I remember my grandmother being the first person out and running across the lawn in her kilt. She came charging over and gave us the most almighty bollocking.
That sort of stuck in my mind from that moment in that I really should be a little bit more careful about what I'm doing and try not to kill my cousins."
The interviews were very interesting for a variety of reasons. I don't think we expected to see William respond to the recent "work-shy" criticisms, however, I think it demonstrates they have been met with a degree of concern within the household and there was an eagerness to address it. From William's interview, it would appear he does not plan to continue working with the EAAA when his contract finished next spring. It may be a good time for him and Kate to gradually take on a larger role within the Royal family and forge foundations for their future roles as Prince and Princess of Wales and eventually King and Queen in an increasingly changing world.
I think it's important for William and Kate to really build on the success of the tour whilst prioritising their children and balancing family life. There's nothing official in the way of a Palace announcement, but judging from William's comments a change could be in the air.
To watch William's interview and much more, Sky's The Queen at 90 can be viewed here.
I just had to share this lovely piece of footage from BBC One's documentary Elizabeth at 90, featuring William and Harry watching footage of the Queen with Charles when he was a child. Harry remarks: "He walks like George. There's a purpose to the walk," William replies. There's been golden nuggets of info and videos thanks to the landmark birthday.
All that remains is to send Her Majesty the happiest of birthday wishes. Long may she reign.
Prince Charles is hosting a private dinner for HM's 90th tomorrow, so we may see arrival/departure photos. If not, William, Kate and Harry will host President Obama and the First Lady for dinner at KP on Friday evening.