Cecil Beaton: The Royal Portraits

Roy C. Strong, Author Simon & Schuster $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67033-7
Cecil Beaton photographed the British royal family from 1930 until his death in 1979. Last year, his secretary bequeathed his thousands of prints, color transparencies and negatives to the Victoria & Albert Museum. In this handsome book, Roy Strong, museum director until 1987, presents 290 of the pictures, 20 in color, interposing Beaton's candid and sometimes biting diary entries about the sittings. Before-and-after proofs show why the Duke of Windsor (``he has common handslike a little mechanic'') insisted on airbrushing and retouching. Other royals Beaton snapped include Queen Elizabeth II, who at her 1953 coronation said, ``Yes in reply to my question, the crown does get rather heavy''; Prince Charles, who at 12 ``has to be hearty . . . because that's what Papa expects of him''; and 10-year-old Princess Anne, who ``continued her shrewishness'' during a difficult session. A treat for those addicted to inside dope on the royals. BOMC dividend. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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