Cecil Beaton, The Coronation - Queen Elizabeth II

Cecil Beaton, The Coronation - Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II
Cecil Beaton
Gelatin silver print
2 June 1953
Museum no. PH.1540-1987
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This portrait echoes the centuries-old tradition of depicting rulers in profile on coins and medals. Dramatic lighting highlights the Queen's youthful features. The prime minister, Winston Churchill, voiced the feelings of many when he described her as a metaphorical guardian angel: 'The gleaming figure whom Providence has brought to us in times when the present is hard and the future veiled.'