• New pictures of the British royals
  • These images have never been seen before
  • Including a portrait of Kate

Buckingham Palace and the Royal Collection Trust are opening an extraordinary exhibition at the palace that brings the history of royal portrait photography to life. "Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography" provides an unprecedented insight into the development of photography within the Royal Household.

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Princess Kate's portrait: This is why it's so special

The exhibition includes more than 150 objects from the Royal Collection and the Royal Archives, most of which are being shown to the public for the first time. Among them is a touching picture of Princess Kate (42), a familiar yet captivating image that resonates deeply with fans.

The photo, which can also be seen on the Internet alongside the exhibition, was taken for Kate's 40th birthday. It shows the princess in a long, flowing dress, captured in an unusual pose. The shot makes Kate look fragile, yet her gaze appears proud and determined—a telling portrait, especially now that she is battling cancer.

More incredible footage revealed

Another highlight of the exhibition is a previously unpublished photograph from 1964 showing Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra, and the then Duchess of Kent holding their newborn babies. This intimate picture, taken by Princess Margaret's husband, photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, was a thank you to the royal obstetrician Sir John Peel.

The photographs of King George VI and the Queen Mum, taken by Cecil Beaton during the Second World War, are also particularly moving. These images were intended to convey a sense of stability and hope. Among the wartime photographs are a shot of the royal couple inspecting bomb damage to Buckingham Palace in 1940 and a family photo from 1943 showing a young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.

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