National Portrait Gallery announces a digital display to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
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National Portrait Gallery announces a digital display to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee
Activity will see the launch of a new digital display and online competition for families while the National Portrait Gallery undergoes a major transformation.

LONDON.- To celebrate and mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the National Portrait Gallery presents a new digital display, a competition for families, as well as an exclusively designed range of products to commemorate the Queen’s 70-year reign.

The Gallery’s Collection includes over a thousand portraits of the Queen, and a new digital display will allow online visitors to explore a selection of those works, as well as an animated timeline of her reign. It will also feature an illustration of Dorothy Wilding’s portrait, Queen Elizabeth II (1952), taken just 20 days after she ascended to the throne, using a photomontage of 207 individual portraits. From the earliest of images depicting the Princess Elizabeth’s ‘Merry Smile,’ to the official photographs taken throughout her reign by the likes of Dorothy Wilding, Tim Graham and William Horton, this online display will give visitors the chance to explore some of the most iconic portraits of the Queen, while learning more about the artists who captured them. Horton’s photograph of the Queen, taken in 1945 at the Auxiliary Territorial Service Training Centre in Camberley, sits alongside an earlier photograph, depicting the Queen and Princess Margaret as children, with broadcasting microphones at Windsor Castle on 13 October 1940, carrying out wartime public duties. In addition to photography, the display also includes works by Pietro Annigoni, who painted the Queen in 1969 wearing the red robes of the Order of the British Empire, and Michael Leonard, whose painting was commissioned to mark Her Majesty’s 60th birthday.

Taking further inspiration from the Collection, the Gallery has also launched a new competition, inviting families to explore the Queen’s reign through her portraits. By recreating their favourite photographs, paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict the Queen, families have the chance to exhibit their winning portraits on the Gallery’s website. Judged by the National Portrait Gallery’s Youth Forum and photographer Kymara Akinpelumi, whose work was exhibited in the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2021, all winners will also receive a Jubilee-themed bundle of gifts, including a copy of Elizabeth II: Princess, Queen, Icon (£14.95), a special book published to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee. Recreations should be submitted through the Gallery’s competition portal by 5pm on 17 May 2022. The winners will be announced on the Gallery’s social media channels on the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June.

In addition to the newly published book, the Gallery has also collaborated with printmaker and illustrator Angela Harding to create a brand-new product range in celebration of Her Majesty’s seventy-year reign. This exclusive Platinum Jubilee inspired collection comprises a fine bone china mug and plate (retailed at £35 and £45), made in Stoke-on-Trent, and a 100% cotton tea towel (retailed at £15). The design that features on each centres around a swan and the royal cypher, with an illustration of Buckingham Palace visible in the background. Inspired by coronation portraits in the Gallery’s Collection, decorative motifs also include symbolic flowers found in the intricate embroidery of The Queen’s coronation dress — a Tudor rose, a Welsh leek, thistles and shamrock, the national flower of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said: “The National Portrait Gallery is home to the largest collection of portraits in the world, and over a thousand of those depict Her Majesty The Queen – from the official images of Her Majesty dressed in robes of state to photographs of her at home with family they provide a unique insight into her historic reign. Our new online display showcases a selection of these fascinating portraits, and I am looking forward seeing the creative ways in which families interpret and recreate those in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.”

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