British Royal Portraits

In 1981, when standing with the crowds in London celebrating the marriage of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, Mario Testino took his first spontaneous royal portrait when The Queen, The Queen Mother and her grandson, Prince Edward, passed by. Since then he has taken countless formal photographs of many members of the House of Windsor. His informal portraits of Diana, Princess of Wales – commissioned for Vanity Fair in 1997 – marked the beginning of a close artistic relationship with The Royal Family.

In 2012, The National Portrait Gallery brought together eight of Testino’s most quintessential portraits of the royals taken between 2003 and 2010.

The Exhibition

The display included the official engagement portraits of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge taken in London in 2010. The earliest image on display was of The Prince of Wales from 2003, commissioned as an official portrait and another of Prince William, taken in the same year to mark his 21st birthday. The official commission to mark Prince Harry’s 21st birthday was also included in the exhibition as well as a portraits of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall for British Vogue in 2006, and another photograph of the couple sat in their car, taken in 2010, from Testino’s personal work.

Mario Testino, "British Royal Portraits", National Portrait Gallery, London 2012.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, London, 2010

Prince Harry, The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge, 2004

The Prince of Wales, 2003

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, 2010



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