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Public’s royal snapshots to go on show at Kensington Palace

A series of never-before-seen images of the royal family taken by members of the public are going on show at Kensington Palace (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)
A series of never-before-seen images of the royal family taken by members of the public are going on show at Kensington Palace (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)

A series of never-before-seen images of the royal family taken by members of the public are going on show at Kensington Palace this week.

Snapshots include a close-up of a smiling Duchess of Cambridge receiving a posy of flowers after the Sandringham Christmas service in 2014.

Also on display is a black and white image of the Prince of Wales on horseback during a polo match in Oxford in the 1980s.

The photographs form part of Historic Royal Palaces’ Life Through A Royal Lens exhibition, which also includes work by renowned photographers Norman Parkinson, Rankin, Annie Leibovitz and Cecil Beaton.

The Prince of Wales playing polo by Gilbert from London in the 1980s
The Prince of Wales playing polo, photographed by Gilbert from London in the 1980s (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)

Nearly 1,000 images were submitted following an appeal to the public to share their own memories of the royals in the Platinum Jubilee year.

Those selected include the Queen smiling broadly despite the rain at the opening of The Lowry theatre and gallery complex in Salford in 2000.

David from Leeds, who took the image, said: “It was pouring with rain and HM had just returned from Balmoral.

“I asked if she had brought the Scottish weather with her. She chuckled and said at least the dogs seem to love it.”

The Queen in Salford in 2000 b
The Queen in Salford in 2000 by David from Leeds (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)

The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh are also pictured driving past crowds of well-wishers in Derby in a throwback image during the Silver Jubilee of 1977.

The Queen, dressed in bright yellow, and her daughter, the Princess Royal, are photographed travelling side by side in a carriage at Ascot in 2018.

Laura from London, who took the picture. said: “I was so pleased to be in just the right spot in the parade ring to catch the Queen and the Princess Royal looking jubilant and lovely, clearly anticipating the day at the races ahead of them.”

The curators at Historic Royal Palaces – along with a guest judge from royal jewellers Garrard – selected a total of 50 images to feature in two evolving digital displays.

The Queen and Anne at Ascot
The Queen and the Princess Royal at Ascot in 2018 (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)

From July 6, the 25 images on show since the exhibition opened will be replaced with 25 new contributions.

Amy from London, who took the picture of Kate at Sandringham, said: “I’ve often been to Sandringham with my aunt to see the royals on Christmas Day as my family lives nearby in Lincolnshire.

“Kate was asking a young girl about her Christmas dinner plans and had been given so many flowers she could barely hold them all.

“It was so worth getting up early and standing in the cold to take this photo, which I think shows Kate’s natural warmth and affinity towards children.”

The Queen and Philip in Derby 1977
The Queen and Philip in Derby 1977 (Historic Royal Palaces/PA)

Claudia Acott Williams, curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said: “The digital display they will form is an amazing way of sharing these unique moments in time, to appreciate just how special those interactions with the royal family are to the participants, and to illustrate how photographs create a lasting sense of connection.

“They will be shown alongside the work of world-renowned photographers and will help to bring to life the story of royal image-making in this Platinum Jubilee year.”

– The Life Through A Royal Lens exhibition is at Kensington Palace until October 30 2022 and is included in the palace admission fee.