Coming soon > Photography > The Crown in Focus
The Crown in Focus cover image
UK £29.95
US $45.00
Hardback with jacket
224 pages
200 illustrations
28 x 23.5 cm (11.25 x 9.5 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4686-3
Published in the UK May 2020
Published in the US June 2020
The Crown in Focus
Two Centuries of Royal Photography

Claudia Acott Williams

Foreword by David Cannadine

The Crown in Focus traces the remarkable relationship between the British Royal Family and photography over the course of nearly 200 years, from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s enthusiastic adoption of the emerging technology in the mid-19th century to the use of Instagram by the modern monarchy. Featuring iconic formal portraits alongside little-known pictures from private collections, this captivating book explores how each new development of the medium has been embraced to record royal life. It also considers the art of royal photography through the monarchy’s patronage of such major 20th-century photographers as Cecil Beaton and family members Lord Snowdon and Patrick Lichfield, and such contemporary photographers as Chris Jackson. Members of the Royal Family have always been keen photographers themselves. The Crown in Focus includes pictures from their own albums, and looks, too, at the publication of photographs by the royals, from Queen Alexandra to the Duchess of Cambridge, where the personal view has become the public image. Written by an expert curator from Historic Royal Palaces and published to coincide with a major new exhibition at Kensington Palace, the book is arranged into thematic chapters presenting 200 extraordinary royal images alongside extended captions that reveal the story behind each photograph. 


A fascinating account of the British Royal Family’s relationship with photography and how it has been used to shape their public image

Presents 200 photographs from the past two centuries, including iconic formal portraits and rarely seen images from private collections

Accompanies a major new exhibition opening at Kensington Palace in May 2020


Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces

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Author Profiles

Claudia Acott Williams is a Collections Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, specializing in royal, court and dress history from the 18th century to the present day. She read history at undergraduate level and museum studies at master’s level, both at University College London. She began her career at the National Trust and joined Historic Royal Palaces in 2013 to work with the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. She is now Curator of Kensington Palace, responsible for the presentation of the palace interiors and the displayed and stored collections. She was Lead Curator of the permanent exhibition Victoria: A Royal Childhood, and also worked on the exhibitions Victoria RevealedDiana: Her Fashion Story and Fashion Rules: Restyled. She is a contributing lecturer to the online course ‘A History of Royal Fashion’, and gives regular lectures on the royal palaces, collections, court and dress history at universities and to special-interest groups around the UK.


Professor Sir David Cannadine is a historian of modern British history from 1800 to 2000. He is currently Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University and President of the British Academy. He previously taught at Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia and London, where he was Director of the Institute of Historical Research. He has published extensively on aspects of social, cultural, political and imperial British history, and has been General Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography since 2014.


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