Life Through a Royal Lens

A unique exhibition exploring the royal family’s relationship with the camera

A unique exhibition exploring the royal family’s relationship with the camera

When

Start date: 04 March 2022
End date: 30 October 2022


Ticketing information

Advanced booking recommended.


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Kensington Palace tickets

Life Through a Royal Lens is a new exhibition exploring the Royal Family through photography and brings together some of the most iconic images ever taken of the Royal Family to Kensington Palace. 

For almost 200 years the medium of photography has created an unprecedented intimacy between Sovereign and subjects. The new display explores the British Royal Family’s enduring relationship with the camera; from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s patronage of photography during its infancy to lesser known intimate family portraits, spanning from the 19th century right up until the present day.

 

Equanimity/Queen Elizabeth II by Chris Levine (artist) Rob Munday (holographer)

Image: Equanimity/Queen Elizabeth II by Chris Levine (artist) Rob Munday (holographer) © Jersey Heritage Trust.

Royal life behind the scenes

Experience the impact of photographer Cecil Beaton – one of the great shapers of royal image in the twentieth century - and his work in redefining modern royal portraiture.

View stunning images of Her Majesty the Queen and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, among Beaton’s most faithful sitters, to discover how his work influenced public perceptions of the royals. 

All images: © Cecil Beaton / Victoria and Albert Museum,

Official coronation photograph portrait of Her Majesty The Queen
Black and white Queen Mother Elizabeth in gardens with parasol.

An exclusive look through the lens

There will be photographs from renowned photographers such as Rankin, Annie Leibovitz, Norman Parkinson and a never-before-seen image of Diana, Princess of Wales by David Bailey. For the first time there will also be a selection of images taken by Royal Family members themselves, including the work of celebrated photographer and former resident of the Palace, Lord Snowdon, husband of Princess Margaret.

Image: © Princess Margaret, Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon and their two children Sarah and David. The Norman Parkinson Archive / Iconic Images 2021

Princess Margaret looking at her husband and children

Exhibition film

Exhibition partner

Exhibition in partnership with Garrard.

Royal Photo Album

Full-length, standing, facing the viewer, head turned half to the right, wearing a white dress with a diaphanous blue wrap, holding a posie of flowers in her right hand; beside a path in a parkland setting, with Kensington Palace in the distance, on the right.
Things to see

Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace.

Open

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A large four poster bed covered in detailed period fabric, in a bedroom covered in dark green wall decor
Things to see

Explore the beautiful private rooms at Kensington Palace where Mary II once took her meals, relaxed and entertained.

Open

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The King's State Apartments interior
Things to see

Wander through the lavish rooms of the King's State Apartments, each one grander than the last, at Kensington Palace.

Open

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Vintage style ovals engraved glass champagne saucers, set of 2 (30169555)

Shop Kensington Palace Gifts

These official gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by Kensington Palace's rich royal stories, past and present.

From £7.99

Jewellery displayed on table

Shop Kensington Palace Jewellery

Treat yourself to timeless pearls and stylish sapphire jewellery inspired by the royals who have lived in Kensington Palace.

From £12.99

Selection of plates and cutlery on a blanket

Shop picnicware

Enjoy fine dining outdoors with our magnificent picnic hampers. Discover our luxury hampers and exquisite picnic blankets.

From £19.99