A never-seen-before portrait of Princess Diana taken by esteemed photographer David Bailey in 1988 will be going on display at Kensington Palace this month. The treasured photo has remained in the photographer’s archive for decades, but from this month members of the public will be able to view it as part of an exhibition on royal photography.
The Life Through a Royal Lens exhibition will open at Kensington Palace on March 4, and it features an array of pictures of the Royal Family like you’ve never seen them before.
Claudia Acott Williams, Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, told the Daily Mail: “Ever since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first embraced the revolutionary new technology of photography, the medium has shaped how the world views the British monarchy.
“It has allowed the Royal Family to offer fascinating insights into their life and work, transforming the royal image and creating an unprecedented relationship between crown and subjects.
“Through our new exhibition at Kensington Palace, Life Through A Royal Lens, we look forward to welcoming our visitors into the world of royal photography, to explore the history behind the iconic image of modern monarchy we know today.”
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Bailey’s portrait of Diana was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, and it shows the Princess of Wales aged 27.
At the time, Diana was a young mother of two children, and she had been married to Prince Charles for seven years.
Diana’s popularity as a member of the Royal Family was well-established at this time, and the snap highlights the young Princess as she became more confident in her royal role.
And in many ways, the portrait of Diana draws comparisons to the portraits of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge released to mark her 40th birthday this year.
The never-seen-before Diana portrait shows her looking to the distance, just like Kate in one particularly ethereal portrait.
The stance is classically regal and is particularly fitting for two of the most famous royal women in recent history.
Comparisons can also be drawn between Diana’s portrait and the only full-colour snap of Kate’s birthday series.
Both royal women wore one-shouldered gowns, with Kate pictured wearing a bright red Alexander McQueen gown.
The Life Through a Royal Lens exhibition is included in palace admission, and tickets can be purchased via the Historic Royal Palaces website.