King Charles’s Official Coronation Photo Is a ‘Little Piece of Theater’

British photographer Hugo Bernand waited in the glitz of Buckingham Palace when Charles III was crowned at Westminster Abbey on Saturday. audience room for the most important moments of his career.

The royal family commissioned Bernand, 59, to photograph the newly crowned monarch’s official portrait. This is because every newspaper in the world aspires to publish it, creating an image that art historians rush to analyze.

However, Bernand had limited time to do it, given the complicated schedule of the coronation.

On Monday, the royal family announced the results of Bernand’s brief session with the newly crowned King, Queen and other members of the British monarchy, and royal watchers around the world were asked if Bernand had acted in line with the commission. It gave me an opportunity to decide.

In Bernand’s photograph, King Charles III is depicted seated in front in full regalia. Ruler’s Orba hollow gold sphere made in the 17th century and adorned with a large cross. Ruler’s ScepterThese two items represent the authority and power of the king.

In another photo, the King is shown smiling with Queen Camilla.

In a pre-coronation interview, Bernand said he knew the portrait was intended for a global audience, but felt intimate as if the viewer was “having a one-on-one conversation” with the King. He said he wanted to create a “little theater” with his portraits.

Bernand is currently in a dedicated photographer’s club to capture his coronation portraits. For centuries, the British royal family commissioned artists to paint the newly crowned king and queen, and in 1902 began commissioning photographers for Edward VII. coronation.

Some have created iconic images of royalty. 1937, Dorothy Wilding I took a portrait of King George VIthe monarch wore robes so long that Wilding had to stand 20 feet away in order to fit the enormous garment into the frame.

Twenty years later, in 1953, Cecil Beaton first photographed Queen Elizabeth II wearing the monarch’s regalia, including a heavy crown. In that image, her Queen appears to be in Westminster Abbey, but Beaton actually photographed her in front of an artificial backdrop at Buckingham Palace after her ceremony.

That day, Beaton found the time constraint a challenge, and later wrote in his diary that he spent the session “flying and taking pictures at great speed.” “I had a vague idea of ​​whether I was shooting in black and white, shooting in color, giving the right exposure,” added Beaton.

Curator Paul Moorehouse, who oversaw an exhibition of royal portraits at London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2012, said in an email that Beaton’s images created “a deliberately mesmerizing monarchical spectacle.” Moorhouse added that Bernand faced a tough challenge that matched the impact, especially as he needed his photos to appeal to a younger generation skeptical of the monarchy.

A former stable worker, Bernand didn’t become a professional photographer until he was in his late 20s, but has had a long relationship with both Charles and Camilla since meeting the Queen for the first time in the 1990s.

When Charles and Camilla asked Bernand to take their picture 2005 wedding, he turned them down first, he said. He was on sabbatical in Bolivia at the time and had just been robbed. “My whole family’s passports, money and cameras were stolen,” he recalled in an email to the palace.

But he soon changed his mind and the wedding turned out to be a life-changing moment.Bernand said he no longer had to wait for the phone to ring with a job offer. Now he could pick and choose his job.

Bernand photographed the wedding of Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales in 2011. Intimate photo of newlyweds surrounded by pageboys and bridesmaids (He only took 26 minutes to shoot it). Bernand said that during the sessions, he and his stepmother, Ursi Bernand, used sweets to get the kids into action.

In a recent interview, Bernand said he hates having his portrait taken. He added that he often discusses ideas with his subjects before shooting to make them feel part of the process, but did not provide details of his discussions with Charles and Camilla.

He said he spent weeks studying images from past coronations and took other steps to ensure he achieved the best possible results for the event, including using stand-ins to create mock-ups. said.

But even with all that preparation, Bernand says the best photos ultimately come down to luck.

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