Cecil Beaton’s photographs of the Royal Family in the 20th century from the Thirties to the Sixties were essential to the shaping of the monarchy’s public image following Edward VIII's abdication in 1936. When Princess Olga of Yugoslavia had been photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1939, she showed the results to Queen Elizabeth and “encouraged her to send for Beaton”. Two days later, Mr Beaton, a celebrated fashion photographer with a stellar career at Vogue magazine arrived at Buckingham Palace on July 28.
Cecil Beaton was “nervous about seeing the Queen [because] he admired her so much” claims biographer Hugo Vickers in “Elizabeth: The Queen Mother”.
Mr Vickers’ book on the Queen Mother, which was the result of 17 years of research, reveals Mr Beaton had previously thought “she does look sloppy” after having first seen her at her wedding in 1923.
The 2005 biography describes how a while later, at the Ritz, he was “more favourably impressed”.
Mr Vickers claims the photographer said: “She is a charming looking little person.
How Queen Elizabeth was seen by Cecil Beaton as ‘horrid in photographs’ (Image: Getty)
“She looks horrid from her photographs but she is really