Queen Elizabeth II turns 90

Queen Elizabeth II turns 90

Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, reached another milestone today, April 21, as she has reached her 90th birthday. To mark this historic birthday – no other British monarch has reached 90 – Buckingham Palace released three new photos by celebrity photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

Queen's 90th birthday photo with young family members l
[Annie Leibovitz]

The first photo is of the Queen with the youngest members of her family, the two youngest grandchildren and all five great-grandchildren: L-R, James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor, Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Prince George, and Isla Phillips.

I think it’s cute that Charlotte is sitting on the Queen’s lap. We didn’t get a photo of HM holding George or Charlotte at their Christenings, so it’s nice to see her holding one of great-grandchildren.

I’m a bit bummed we didn’t get a photo of the entire family, including the adults, though.

The photos were taken just after Easter in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, and according to a source who was there for the shoot, Mia holding HM’s purse was spontaneous.

    “‘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.'”

[Daily Mail]

PS. Is Charlotte wearing the same outfit she wore in the Cambridge Christmas photo and the photos released in November? If it’s not the exact same one, it looks very, very similar.

PPS. When I first looked at the photo, I wasn’t sure if the girl sitting on HM’s lap was Charlotte. I thought it might be Mia, and had to look at the caption to see who was who. For some reason Charlotte just didn’t register in my brain.

Queen's 90th birthday photo with George and Charlotte
[Annie Leibovitz]

Queen's 90th birthday photo with Anne l
[Annie Leibovitz]

The second photo shows the Queen with Princess Anne. I do love the photo of HM with the young members of her family, but I almost like this photo of her with Anne even more. We don’t often see them together looking so casual and content, with Anne’s arm around her mother. It’s casual, almost normal, and about as loving as we’re going to get from these two.

The third photo is of the Queen with her beloved corgis: Willow, Vulcan, Candy, and Holly.

Queen's 90th birthday photo with corgis l
[Annie Leibovitz]

91 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth II turns 90

  1. I’d love to see the photo of the Queen with the little ones without the strange Photoshop that made it look more like a painting, which I understand was the intent. It makes Charlotte look added in (which I believe was the case in the Christmas photos, she definitely was).

    The picture of Anne and HM is lovely.

    1. I dislike Annie L’s style because of the crazy amount of Photoshop on all of her photos. I wish BP had chosen a different photographer.

      1. I wonder if the Queen liked the photos done of her? The ones Annie did a few years back, I mean.

        I’m not fond of the style. It’s artistic, sure, but too much so. It’s overdone. Photoshop is a great tool when used in the proper hands.

        1. I like the tones in the photo with the kids, the lighting is a bit like Rembrandt portraiture. I’m sorry to hear that it’s so photoshopped because then it’s been a technical achievement not an artistic one. Bummer. Get a painter for a painting, not a photographer. Different media should not produce the same effects.

          There is an overall formality and grandness to it which is in keeping with traditional pictures. I like it for the occasion. But my fave is the one with Anne. A true family photo, with emphasis on the family feel.

          1. Happy Birthday HM!

            I agree the Rembrandt look is lovely. PG looks distant and uneasy as kate with the royal family/kids. – Charlotte at her age is going along with Nanny Maria nearby.

            Mia is lovely with HM handbag; the Wessex children make the portrait that much more intimate and warm with young QEll in Lady Louise – Princess Anne Line seem very close to their gran, as is loving and warm photo of Princess Anne and mum.

            HM may have avoided including lazy lamebridge (no Order!) In her birthday portrait until …

      2. I wish they had picked a U.K. photographer for such an occasion. All the children are beautiful, but little Mia steals the show. Charlotte looks uncomfortable. Either she is tired, at that fearful stage or been held hostage at Anmer for so long she doesn’t understand there is a world with people and things. I wonder what W&K negotiated for in order to cooperate with having their children as part of the photo.

        The photo of Anne and HM is my favorite. It looks loving and sweet.

    2. I am happy that I am not alone feeling this about this pictures. I am happy to see all the childrens, but I dislike the style of the pictures. Paintinf or photo? The colors are gloomy. When I see precedent pictures of HM by Annie L’, I am the feeling that the photos are haunted…

      I love James, Louise, Mia, Savannah on the photos! But I prefer the photo of Anne and the Queen

      1. These photos don’t scream “celebrating 90th birthday” the scream “creepy old painting in a creepy old house”.

        1. Yes, there is something musty bout this photo. If you take away the ultra sharpness, it could be a photo from the 1950s. Very anachronistic, to have the monarchy is looking backwards.

          I get the color coordinating, especially mother-daughter outfits, but this kind of sends shivers down my spine to see Charlotte wearing the same color as the Queen…

        2. LOL. I noticed they dressed the children in a way that mirrors the Queen. The girls are wearing skirts and cardigans with blouses like the Queen. Some of the girls even have the box pleating like the Queen.

          George again is dressed like a little boy from the thirties with short pants and socks to his knees in little buckled shoes. Back in the thirties little boys in Europe sported this look until they became men in their teens.

          It is a nice picture but not a modern one. It could be from the thirties when the Queen was a child. I see the picture as more a gift to Granny where everyone wore something she would like rather than something to advertise a forward thinking monarchy.

        3. I think it’s the lighting. They should have used some side lighting to create some soft lights.

          I quite understand that they want the “royal majestic” feels with rustic elegance, but as it is now, the picture is too dark, giving it a gloomy creepy feels. It reminds me of pictures hung in old uninhabited mansions with spiderwebs around and an old dead tree in the garden.

  2. Mia just steals that photo. She is to cute and even cuter picking up the Queens hand bag. What a nice overall photo for her birthday! Even with the photoshopping, it is one of the more natural photos I have seen of the Royals (Mia picking up the bag, George playing with his shirt).

    As for Charlotte’s outfit, if it’s not the same then it is so so so close to the other from their Christmas card. Maybe Kate can’t afford clothes for Charlotte since she spends it all on so many unique pairs of pointed nude heels and pointed black suede heels;)

    1. Well she buys herself lots of shoes and coats and bags that look practically identical, so she probably does the same with Charlotte. I bet that baby has hundreds of flowered dresses.

      1. Well Kate probably doesn’t buy Charlotte any colour or variety of clothing because her and William have to pay for it themselves, perhaps? With Kate’s clothing it’s all paid for by the POW and taxpayers, hence she is happy to spend other people’s money. And we know William loves the perks of his “position” and refuses to spend his own money.

        1. I’m surprised that the Cambridge tots’ appearance in formal photos isn’t considered work and their clothes therefore paid for by taxpayers. πŸ™‚

        2. I’m sure whenever KM pulls out the credit card, whether she’s buying something for “work”, buying another outfit for Charlotte, or buying herself a diamond eternity band – she’s using The Duchy credit card.

      2. I don’t doubt that Charlotte got a closet full of designer brands on her own. The reason why she keeps wearing that one is probably because it is the cheapest one she owns and Kate wants to look as if she is extremely frugal. Plus, keep wearing the same clothes will reduce the amount of interest to the child, makes her less appealing to the media and public.

        Well, if that is Kate’s purpose, she has been successful I suppose. I have lost interest in Charlotte completely. Even in that picture, my eyes kept wondering around to look at the children’s faces and outfits but somehow I could care less to have a closer look at her.

      1. Whatever the children wear will sell out, no matter the cost so the writer’s argument falls down there.

        I doubt Kate would put her children in Dior and Gucci; it’s not the look she’s after, hang the expense. She’s wanting to further project what the Royal Family do anyway, which is to embody ‘traditional British family values’, in this instance constructed through clothing choices when the children are in public. When you think of Royal associations for clothing, natural, quality fibres – wool, cotton, silk – come to mind, with an emphasis on workmanship and fine tailoring rather than fashion of the day. Think Charles’ elegant suits, the Queen’s wool skirts, cashmere cardigans and scarves etc. George certainly has some (relatively) expensive jerseys. The choices capture memories of simpler times, a post-WWII/ ’50’s vibe conveying (supposed) family stability.

        The choice of style in Charlotte’s dresses defines upper class values: traditional and understated, the Spanish label has small runs, so there is a sense of exclusivity even though the prices are modest. I imagine that particular look will continue for Charlotte since George has a uniform (lots of blue, shorts, long socks, fairisle), much like the British ‘Just William’ character of the1920’s books of the same name.

        Kate tends to be a theme dresser, though lacking in imagination and nuance, hence her attempts tend to be heavy-handed eg the India trip. I don’t think the children should be fashion plates, just dressed appropriately for the season and occasion and with a decent variety of colours and styles. We see them so rarely that our understanding is limited.

  3. Happy Birthday to QE II!
    Despite the fact I’m not a subject, I still respect her and admire her stamina. May she has a lot of happy returns on the day, in good health too. I also wish she has a rest now, she’s worked more than enough in her life.

    The portrait with the children is delightful, how adorable from little Mia to hold HM’s bag. The whole coscept of HM posing with grand and great grand children is wonderful although I would prefer not as much ‘artistic’ photoshop, as said above.
    On a superficial note, I don’t know why George & Charlotte have to wear same or similar clothes for landmark pictures.
    The picture of the queen with her daughter is a remarkable surprise, I just love it.
    Thank you KMR for another timely post. May we all live as long as HM! (in good health though). πŸ™‚

    1. Elina, I so agree with you! THe Queen’s life is a long and amazing one. She deserves the best in health and happiness and a bit of a rest!

      The photo with the children was very special for the reasons you mentioned. Little Mia and the handbag was so real! Just darling. And, George, is a scene stealer!

      I absolutely loved the photo of HM and her daughter. The love between them is so apparent.

      Yes, a big thank you to you, KMR for such a celebration for HM and all of us. Even those of us who are not her subjects, but care about her greatly.

      Long Live The Queen!

  4. Happy Birthday to Her Majesty!

    What an impressive piece of history in one photograph. I’m so glad the youngest kids in the Windsor clan had this photo taken so that it becomes their very own keepsake. Artistically speaking, it’s very heavy and dense. A more sunlit room with less heavy draperies would have emphasized HM as Gan-Gan rather than the Queen, but it certainly underlines history.

    Charlotte is definitely looking more Windsor than Middleton. And she seems like a steady, mellow baby. It’s sweet to see her being held by HM. The outfit is clearly similar to her previous outfit, which seems to be a deliberate choice. It’s a boring one- baby fashion is abundant with suitable looks for little girls, and a different one could have been chosen.

    George has a sweetness in his expression. He definitely looks like his mummy, and he is going to be super-cute as he grows up. And Mia Tindall is quite possibly the cutest scene-stealer ever.

    I love the second picture with Princess Anne. I am a big fan of hers, and love that her kids seem to take after her in being very grounded. She has a tremendous work ethic and presence, and the photo really shows how deeply she loves the Queen. Leibovitz did a great job with this one.

    And heh, of course, we have HM and her corgis. They’re a chuckle.

    Great post KMR! Thanks for making one so speedily!

    1. I actually like the contrast between the heavy background and the children. The greens and golds are majestic and the eternal mirroring emphasises continuity.
      I also admire the queen’s perfect pose, with her head turned to look straight to the camera, even with wee Charlotte on her lap and all the children around her. I would be very distracted if I was her!
      I assume Charlotte must be an easy baby to sit and smile for a picture – a rare thing for that age. At first I thought she was playing with HM’s glasses but I think she was given a small animal toy.

      All in all, a lovely picture, although the one with Anne radiates more warmth.

          1. Thank you KMR. Why a horse I wonder. Or is that reading too much into it. Is it because William rides a horse or the queen likes horses. It all does seem very Victorian with Kate.

          2. Maybe it’s her favorite or the only one that would calm her down? Or maybe HM gave her the horse so that’s the one they used? I don’t think there has to be some secret meaning to it.

    2. Watch out Leonore, there’s a little scene stealer growing up in the UK, too!
      Mia is so darn cute! The way she decided she must hold the Queen’s handbag is just so real and so very, very adorable. Love her.

      Love all the children, actually. George is right up there, too. Quite a cutie.

      HM deserves tremendous praise for all her dedication and sense of duty. Seeing her with the children, as well as with her daughter – was a lovely break for me during another busy day. Mother and daughter are very close, it seems. How nice!

      A very Happy Birthday HM!

    3. I have been waiting to see what Annie Leibovitz captured, and she didn’t disappoint. I love the rich textures of the surroundings enveloping the children and Queen, the simple warmth of mother-daughter, and the Queen’s much-loved four-legged family. All images possess majesty. I guess it is inevitable that portraits of a 90-year old are tinged with a certain inevitability and a sense of ‘life’s winter’ is evident too, just a touch of the sombre. They comprise a beautiful set of images. I felt that the essence of each subject was captured, for example, the shyness of James. I had to smile with little Mia’s holding of her great-grandmother’s bag; a little bit of serendipity that Leibovitz was clever enough to ‘see’ and incorporate. This is why you choose Annie Leibovitz over Mario Testino’s brittleness.

      1. Plus really clever use of mirrors reflecting mirrors as metaphor for the continuation of the monarchy in the image with the children.

      2. It is a hugh milestone to reach. I do agree with you Jen of “a sense of life’s winter”. Sad but true. I also read an article last night about Her Majesty. Itn one part it stated she has stopped breeding her dogs. She feels that it is time. She also doesn’t want to leave any of them behind without her. I thought it was sweet and extremely sad at the same time.

        1. Such a poignant and sensitive approach to her pets that she would rather be without further dogs than leave them bereft of her, their caregiver. Just watching TV coverage earlier of the Queen on a walkabout; she looks in the best of health and very happy to be collecting flowers and good wishes from the public.

      3. Jen you have a gift that makes me wonder about your career or hobby. I am sure that your interpretations are a great part of what the photographer was elliciting. Thank you for your 2 posts.

        1. Oh Kat, I teach visual communication design; part of that comprises studio practice, plus personal academic research, as well as teaching design theory too, including the semiotics of reading images (more fun than it sounds!).

  5. The picture with her great grandchildren is really cute, but my favourite is the one with Anne. I’m impressed at how much they look alike.

    I’m also not a subject, but I’ve come to admire her a lot. May her heirs honour her legacy when the day comes.

  6. WOW, Charlotte is the spitting image of HM. I also loved Mia with the handbag it is so gorgeous.

    I am really over the same clothes for George and Charlotte though. I think someone needs to tell Chutney that there are actually kids clothing stores out there instead of putting them in the same clothes all the time.

  7. I wondered why the photo seemed different so thank you..
    It was photoshopped to look like a painting. It is different. It is delightful and fun photo with Gan Gan and her youngest descendants. Mia reminded me of the youngest Von Trapp daughter in The Sound of Music. A special Happy Birthday to Queen Elizabeth.

  8. Hello everybody. Today is a great day to UK. The Queen is turning 90, nine decades of service to her country. Happy Birthday, Majesty. I am very happy to still see her reigning with grace and pride. I see clearly how much she is happy doing her duty as a monarch. HM is what makes me admire the monarchy. If we were to base the Monarchy in William and Kate, we could say that this system is a failure. I do not want to get into a political debate, but it is not fair to judge the Monarchy based on William and Kate, or the fact that someone has a position only by birth. We must note two factors: 1. A Royal has no fault to be born a Royal, or do we have to blame George, Charlotte, Estelle, Oscar, Leonore and other Royal children to be born Royals? And 2. It would not be fair to HM Charles, Sophie, Harry, Maxima, Victoria, Mary, and those who serve their country with dignity and commitment being seen as worthless because two Royals (William and Kate) are lazy, selfish and arrogant. It would be like blaming all Muslims because some commit terrorist acts.

    P.S. I loved the photo of HM with the Royals kids, and I loved most the fact that she is with all kids, not only George and Charlotte, how was suggested on several websites.

  9. Not a fan of the picture. Too gloomy, with weird filters. Little Mia and the purse are adorable though!

  10. My jaw dropped when I saw the post that had been made on Buckingham Palace’s official Instagram. This is the first time we’ve seen a picture of HM with her youngest grandkids and ALL of her great-grandchildren. Fabulous idea BUT…..looks too much like a painting and not enough like a picture plus, it’s just too far away so you can’t get a good look at the details of everyone. In that close-up you did, KMR, Savannah looks a lot like her mother, Autumn!

    The picture of HM with her only daughter? I love that one. It’s warm, friendly and should be framed and hung in a place of honor. So sweet of mother and daughter.

    HM with the corgis and dorgis: meh. It would’ve been great to have a picture of HM with ALL of her grand kids (including Louise and James) but whatever.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!!! πŸ™‚

    P.S. Sorry that I’ve been MIA again. The KMR website has been acting up on me lately plus, I’ve been doing a lot of off-setting at work due to my doctor appointments. It’s tiring but I’m sooo grateful that I have understanding supervisors who allow me to do so, so that I don’t have to use ANY of my precious leave and am able to continually save it for my upcoming trip to Cleveland in June!

    Also, I’ve been wearing thick bandages (from the middle of my foot up to just below me knee) on both legs to help heal the venous skin ulcers that I’ve had for almost two years, has only recently started flaring up (January) and was just now properly diagnosed (I’ve been bounced around like a pinball machine). It has been okay except for the fact that I cannot get them wet so I’ve had to give myself awkward sponge baths (it’s times like that where I wish I had a boyfriend to do that for me! πŸ˜‰ ). My skin has been feeling suuuuper itchy and last night, while I was sleeping, I just started scratching like crazy around the top and this morning, I pulled up the bandages to where they’re supposed to be. Sigh. I pray that I’ll be all better in time before June!

    How are you all??

    1. Hi Kimothy!
      I’m sorry to hear about your legs and ulcers, I hope all these nuisances will go away soon so you can plan your proper away time in the Cleveland games. With all these doctor’s appointments, I hope you are compensated with a cute doctor, you mentioned he’s hardly an eye sore!
      It’s good that you have understanding supervisors, I can’t say the same but at least I’m (discretely) posting now from the office! I really can’t wait to get away today, I’m planning an afternoon shopping spree with my daughter since she’s on her Easter holidays!
      Be well and take care of yourself!

      1. Thank you Elina! The doctor at skin and wound care is a woman so she’s not my cup of tea πŸ˜‰ but she IS *very* optimistic and encouraging that we’ll be able to treat these ulcers easily and i appreciate that so much. I’ve met with doctors in the past who’ve made feel absolutely horrible because of their attitude or body language. I get it, my medical history is complex and unusual but please don’t add to fuel to the fire by making me feel bad as if I dumped all of this on purpose when I’m just coming to you for help regarding some issue! Sigh…..

        I am soooo counting down until the weekend simply so that I can have a brief break and do some more binge-watching on Netflix!! Soooo glad that my sister is letting me use her account!! I’ve found all kids of great shows and documentaries on it!!

        1. Oh I know, doctors can be real jerks.
          Don’t worry, weekend is on the way. Oh I’m happy you found things to watch. I’m actually looking forward the Game of thrones season 6 premier. πŸ™‚

          1. LOL! I swear, I must be the only person on the planet who’s never seen an episode of GoT! I’m currently watching a documentary called “Warrior Women” (hosted by Lucy Lawless) and, so far, it’s great. I’m also towards the end of a looong documentary on the Roosevelts (Teddy, Eleanor, and Franklin) that is extremely insightful and watching it makes me sad for this year’s election in the U.S. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to!

          2. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones either. I just don’t want to watch a show with as much rape as I’ve been told is in GoT.

  11. Happy Birthday to Her Majesty. Thank you for your service and duty to your country and the Commonwealth. I really love these pictures. I love the fact that there are no senior royal in them. That is the younger generation, Anne,and the Queen’s dogs. It’s nice to see a proud mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. And a lover of her dogs. When I look at these pictures that what I see. Mia stole the picture hands down. Love it.

  12. Happy 90th Birthday to HM.

    They are rather gothic photos of Windsor Caste and HM. It is good to have them as a piece of history. I like the photo of the Queen and Anne which radiates warmth between mother and daughter, and the Queen on the steps of Windsor with the corgis.

    I am pleased they have the photo of the grandchildren as well. Mia holding the handbag too cute. Savannah, Mia, Isla, James and Louise stand out for me. It is good to see the Wessex’s included and Louise has been seen playing with them at events. Savannah looks a sensible girl. I don’t think it is just about being pretty as a five year old. It is so much more than that. I think Charlotte needs to take off those shoes as she looks uncomfortable but Charlotte does I agree look more like a Windsor. George looks grumpy poor thing. i agree that Kate needs to find kids clothing stores. That is the same dress that Charlotte is in isn’t it. Thank you KMR.

    1. On a side note I can see Autumn and Peter in their girls. I didn’t realize Peter was blond as a child until I saw early photos of him.

    2. I agree…Charlotte looks like QEII, especially the lower half of her face- they seem to have the same kind of smile. I love how babies faces constantly change, even day by day. In earlier pics, Charlotte looked like Carole Middleton and now she looks like QEII.

    1. I zoomed in super close and it looks like it’s the horse’s tail hair wrapped around Charlotte’s middle finger.

  13. Happy Birthday Elizabeth!! I have to say that while not a subject of hers, she has been quite an example to me of duty and service to others. Through all the years she has held herself with dignity, grace and self respect, something I, as a woman, strive to emulate.

    I have to say that I love the Gothic style in these photos, the dark, brooding feel really captures my imagination. However, I would have loved to see a photo of the Queen with her youngest grandchildren and great grandchildren in a lighter, more natural setting not quite so dark, heavy and green. While I understand that it’s now common to use Photoshop I feel that so many commercial photographers overuse it, to make up for their lack of technique or to make up for lighting that isn’t available, I don’t know. Imo, Photoshop should be used to cover blemishes or enhance the subject not completely change the look of the photo.

    I love the photo of the Queen and Anne together. I think so often Anne’s role in the family is overlooked, as the Queen’s only daughter she’s managed to fill a void left when the Queen’s mother and sister died, so close together. I recall Anne saying how remarkable it was that all the family members are still talking to one another and I agree, for as “dysfunctional” as we all think the Royal Family is, they probably see more of each other than most families do and with the exception of the odd squabble now and then seem to enjoy each other’s company.

  14. My exact thoughts:

    Photo 1 – Mia stole the show. Charlotte, who?
    Photo 2 – My favorite of the two. Both look so warm and lovely.
    Photo 3 – Like a boss.

    Happy Birthday Your Majesty!!

  15. Unbelievable, Kate’s recycling Charlotte’s clothes for this special portrait as she did for George in that stamp portrait!! Didn’t she think people will notice? Charlotte can wear this outfit over& over again on some other occasion or at home but not during this special sitting. Mia is so adorable & spontaneous holding the Queen’s handbag, she outshines everyone. I’ve always loved Anne. The mother-daughter photo exudes warmth& shows the close relationship that they have.It was once said that Anne should have replaced Charles as the heiress to the throne because of her strength of character & hardwork.

  16. It’ such a lovely, happy day here and momentum has built throughout the day thanks to the media. I have a beacon opposite my house that is being lit tonight as part of the chain for her Majesty so I don’t need to buy an admission ticket…..I can watch from my bedroom. The Queen looked lovely and so happy today, greeting the crowds at Windsor and I loved her little ‘PopeMobile’ which she was out and about in so everyone could see her.

    I adore the photos. I love the gloom around the light that the Queen brings. Mia is just a scene stealer. And gorgeous George looks on his final warning such is that tentative smile. I live about a mile away from Launer’s offices…..if you could see how inauspicious and scruffy they are you would be do shocked but the the queen doesn’t pop in to chose her handbags……they go to her.

    1. MrsBBV I’ve just watched the BBC programme with all the old cinefilm. It was amazing and very moving. Anyone who missed it watch it on iPlayer. As well as HM, Anne and Sarah Chato stole the show for me. It shows that Charles and Anne did have a happy childhood, they had a lot of fun. Wonderful , I do hope George and Charlotte are allowed as much freedom.

      1. My TV schedule has been a bit thrown tonight what with the death of Prince. Hubby & I have been listening to our favourite Prince songs. Will catch up with it tomorrow but I’m glad it was so heart warming and joyful Birdy. (I always smile when I see your name as Mr BBV calls me Birdie). I still find it quite sad that Charles had such a strange, warped view of his childhood but I expect his whole demeanour and thought process was tainted at the time by the ‘personal disaster’ of his first marriage.

        Princess Anne……the best King this country will never have. Not only does she have a brilliant mind, her idea of duty is perhaps closest to her Mother’s. No wonder she views a certain Duchess as a complete lightweight. My Dad gave her a presentation in the 80’s……a technical communications brief that totally went over my head. She grasped concepts and ideas, asked relevant and educated questions. My Dad who has met most of the senior Royals said she’s so informed and intelligent and the questions she’s asked showed real understanding of complex, scientific subject matter……no fluff or ‘how amazing / surreal / inspirational’ platitudes from a poorly briefed person with no interest or understanding of what she’s being told. Truly a Princess to be proud of.

  17. These photos are all great, though I agree with others that there’s too much photoshop in the one with the kids. The photo with the Queen and Anne looks much more like a real photograph and that’s what makes it the best of the three, IMO.

    One nit-picky thing, I wish they had put Charlotte in different colors. By putting her in beige-pink colors she kind of blends in and you can’t see her very clearly, especially since she’s wearing similar colors to the Queen. Mia is dressed in a similar color too, but holding the bag helps her stand out.

    1. I agree with you 100% about the outfit for Charlotte, Liza. If that was my daughter and she was having her photo taken with her Great Grandmother for her 90th Birthday, I would have her in a brand new outfit. They don’t need to be expensive, but something new for the occasion.

  18. If Kate is as competitive as her pre engagement gossip suggested, she won’t be delighted Mia stole the show in the Queen and grandchildren birthday photo!

    1. Oh Lis, is it so wrong for me to hope that you are right? She probably thought that since Charlotte was on HM lap that she would be the centre of attention.

      1. Liz and Tanya I completely agree. The Duchess of Do-Little is probably fuming. Nobody takes the spotlight away from her kids.

  19. I felt like the other portrait (for the stamps) looked Photo-shopped. I made a comment on a Kate blog that little George’s head looked placed on his body and they would not publish my comment. Yes he is cute but the photo looked odd for some reason. My comment was “not approved” by the blog for publication (only the glowing reviews made it)

  20. What an iconic photograph. I love it. The little one holding the Queens purse for her is wonderful. The Queen looks beautiful. The little dark haired children are all Middleton.

  21. My major objection to the group picture is there is no variation in skin tones. They are all a very un-natural and flat beige. I had the same problem with Charlotte’s christening photos. At least with George’s christening photos everyone looked healthy if you discount Kate’s Barbie head. It seems to me if you are paying a world renowned photographer, the subjects should have better color than a corpse. People have compared it to a painting but even a painting has variations in skin tones. I honestly didn’t see Charlotte at first. My eyes were drawn to Mia with Granny’s handbag and then to the Queen. After looking at the rest of the kids I finally realized Charlotte was on the Queen’s lap. George’s sweater looks like some my friends and I wore when we were little – none of us were boys. Very odd but so is his mother.

    I loved the picture of Anne and her mother. Anne is one of my favorites. I like that she doesn’t take any crap from anyone and works her butt off. I also like that their skin tones are more natural. Hopefully there are some pictures of the Queen, Prince Philip and the great grandchildren too.

  22. My thoughts:

    – a historic photo made to look like a timeless painting with a laughable amount of Photoshop.

    – how do you make a photo full of adorable kids look so gloomy, scary and lifeless? They all look like corpse warmed over.

    – I think Mia is the only one who injects any life, humour and whimsy into this photo. She is THE BOSS! George better bow down to the real Boss here, lol.

    – I loved the stamps picture a lot better. It was colour and liveliness itself. Wish they had just used that photographer.

    – but credit should be given to Anne.L to be able to take a picture and gain the attention of this many little kids- must not have been easy.

    – I’ve said it before and will say it again: Charlotte is no beauty, she is cute as most babies tend to be. Hope her mother encourages her toward pursuing some real goals in life and not show off her legs and nether regions in an attempt to appear more physically beautiful than she is. As Charlotte is the ‘spare’, her parents need to ensure that she can find her destiny and direction. But unlikely Kate would ever do that.

    1. “Charlotte is no beauty…” This is absolutely DISGUSTING! She’s a BABY for chrissake! Gee- I wonder why WK are paranoid about exposing their young children to the public?? She’s a baby and you’re commenting on her looks? Are you kidding me? Comment about the lighting, the design, the room decor…. whatever…. but taking personal pot shots at the kids is completely out of line. This blog is supposed to be a critical discussion of the parents not the kids. Leave the kids out of it!

      1. KMR I like your blog because it’s made me think about things differently at times. But I can’t believe you would allow comments like this about the kids to be posted without a response from you. Attacking kids should never be ok.

  23. Maybe I’m evil, but |I like the fact Mia stole the attention away from George and Charlotte. Obviously the kids won’t know either way, so it’s not a negative about them personally, but I bet it got up Will & Kates noses that their brood haven’t stolen the show as per usual.

  24. The picture of the Queen with the kids is what I would kind of expect from the Royal family, a very staged portrait, trying to masquerade as spontaneous. It is ok. I am so glad George does not look grumpy for a change and I am hoping that this is just not a flattering picture of Charlotte, I am sure it was difficult to get all the younger kids to behave perfectly. I do see a lot of Middleton in her though.
    The clothes on the kids is right out of the movie Village of the Damned.
    Love the other 2 pictures.

  25. Not really liking the picture. It’s too gloomy looking. I get they’re going for the painting feel, but it just doesn’t work for me. It is nice seeing all the young royals with the queen. And Mia totally stole the show. I find her more adorable than George or Charlotte.

    I don’t understand why Kate feels the need to find similar clothes for herself or her children. I don’t have kids, but I have friends who do and a god daughter I spoil. I buy her a lot of clothes. There are so many cute things you can buy for little girls… and I most certainly don’t have the wallet that Kate does. So she really has no excuse. Zero taste. Zero style. Just boring!

    Not sure if this has been talked about yet. It looks like BP is looking to hire someone to handle their social media.


    Maybe they’re starting to realize they need someone who actually knows what they’re doing to get all their shenanigans sorted out?

  26. Did anyone else notice that HM’s hand has Charlotte’s dress pulled up–and you can see right under it!!!!! Surely the “photog of the century” should have noticed this–it is glaring!!

  27. At first glance I thought what a creepy picture, but the more I stared at it, the more I liked it (somewhat). It does look kind of gloomy, though, until you see Mia holding the handbag then I laughed. Love the Queen and Princess Anne, and I do love the photo with the corgis. (And they are cute!)

    1. What a sweet pic. Mia steals the show by holding her granny’s purse. I really don’t feel too much about Chsr as we don’t see her. I’m quite indifferent about her. AL is not my favorite photographer, but she did a good job.

      My favorites are HM with Anne and the other with the corgies. Interesting fact: HM no longer breeds corgis and dorgies due to her age. This will be the end if an era, in my opinion, as I always think of HM when I see those dogs.

      Thank you for the pics, KMR!

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