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  • Place of origin:

    Buckingham Palace (photographed)

  • Date:

    02/06/1953 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed to the Museum in 1987 by Eileen Hose, secretary to the photographer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 914, box D

Physical description

Contact print photograph depicting Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation day, 2nd June 1953. A head and shoulders portrait of the new Queen wearing a crown (this crown is known as the Imperial State Crown). She is seen looking thoughtfully into the distance beyond the camera, with a calm and hopeful expression. She is dressed in an embroidered gown and a fur cloak. The cloak is a thick white and black fur and fastened with ribbons and broad, glittering braids and knots. The scene is framed by a draped curtain which is tied back; to reveal a painted backdrop depicting the exterior of Westminster Abbey (where the Coronation ceremony had taken place shortly before this sitting).

Place of Origin

Buckingham Palace (photographed)


02/06/1953 (photographed)


Beaton, Cecil (Sir), born 1904 - died 1980 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques



Width: 7 cm image, Height: 7.9 cm image, Width: 35.4 cm paper, Height: 29.8 cm paper

Descriptive line

Royal Portrait by Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). One of twelve contact print photographs; which has been cut out, arranged and mounted on card. Queen Elizabeth II, Coronation day, Buckingham Palace, 1953.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Strong, Roy C. Cecil Beaton: the royal portraits. London: Thames and Hudson, c1988. p. 136

Labels and date

As with previous sittings, after the Coronation, Beaton sent a selection of the best photographs to the Palace for official approval before publication in the press. Copies of the portrait of the Queen seated, holding the Orb and Sceptre, were given to important guests, such as Commonwealth representatives.

Gelatin silver contact prints mounted on card

Production Note

Cecil Beaton photographed members of the royal family from 1930-1979.




Gelatin silver process


Photographs; Portraits; Royalty


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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