A new exhibition which begins this month at Eleven in London titled The Queen’s People is set to show some of Britain’s high office holders in their traditional outfits, using a photographic technique inspired by 17th century portrait painting.
The collection of photographs, which will go on display from 19th August – 19th September this year, are all produced in the same way: with a black background (emphasising the “craftsmanship and colour of ceremonial dress”) and showing four profiles of the subject, mirroring all four sides.
The portraits were taken by Hugo Rittson Thomas as part of a project to show the Monarchy and those who are responsible for its effective running.
Included in the series are also portraits of Her Majesty herself, along with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Cambridge.
Of the three royal portraits, The Queen’s was especially taken to mark Her Majesty’s colonelcy of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, which marked its 60th anniversary back in 2013. The portrait shows Her Majesty in a day dress designed by Angela Kelly wearing the Waterloo badge of the regiment.
The Duke of Cambridge, meanwhile, is photographed in the frock coat of the Irish Guards (of which he is Colonel). The photo was taken back at the St Patrick’s Day parade, where he and the Duchess of Cambridge join members of the regiment for the traditional annual presentation of shamrock.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cornwall’s portrait shows her in a gown designed by Bruce Oldfield, taken during her speech at the Royal Academy of Arts, wearing the sash and grand cross of the Royal Victorian Order along with the Royal Family order and some “private family pieces” of jewellery.
On the exhibition, Hugo Rittson Thomas said, “It was a privilege to photograph Her Majesty and other Members of the Royal Family and to blend the history and traditions of Royal life with a modern photographic style.
“I hope people will enjoy seeing these photographs as much as I enjoyed making them.”
Rittson Thomas’s portraits in this series try to show the range of appointments that exist within, and connected to, the Royal Household, with portraits ranging from peers to The Queen’s piper and from the Earl Marshal to The Queen’s Pageant Master.
photo credit: Hugo Rittson Thomas