The Royal Mail commissioned a special portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with her direct heirs – Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George – for a special collection of stamps to mark the monarch’s 90th birthday, which is tomorrow, April 21. This photo is not a part of the set by Annie Leibovitz taken the Monday after Easter.
The Four Generations photo was taken by Ranald Mackechnie for the Royal Mail in the White
Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. The photo shoot was so secret that Mackechnie didn’t event tell his wife about it.
In order to get George to be the right height, he stood on paper-covered blocks. And though William and Duchess Kate constantly complain that George is “naughty” and “a little monkey”, Mackechnie says he was a delight to work with:
“He was absolutely charming, as you can see from the picture. You only have a short window of opportunity with small children, but Prince George was on good form and everyone seemed to enjoy seeing him enjoy the day. He was fascinated by my lights and all the kit, and he was quite happy standing on the blocks. I took maybe 80 or 100 shots, but when I saw this one I knew straight away that was it.”
The photo was taken in June 2015, which makes things so much clearer for me. I mentioned on Twitter as soon as I saw the photo that it looked like George was wearing the same clothes, but in a larger size, that he wore to meet Princess Charlotte at the hospital and for her first photos. I thought this photo had been taken recently, which made me think William and Kate purchased the same clothes in a larger size, but since the photo was taken last summer, these clothes are probably the same exact clothes he wore on those other two occasions since he wouldn’t have grown that much between those occasions. Makes so much more sense now.
This portrait was taken for and is used in stamps to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday and is part of a set featuring photos from various points in her life. If you’re interested in purchasing the stamps, you can do so at the Royal Mail.
PS. In the Four Generations photo, the Queen is wearing the Queen Mother‘s Scallop-Shell Brooch.
PPS. In the Four Generations photo, William’s hair is totally Photoshopped to make it appear that he has more hair than he actually does.