Notorious ‘Crowngate’ affair after past pics

Video grabbed image taken from BBC One's A Year with the Queen programme of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
Video grabbed image taken from BBC One's A Year with the Queen programme of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II

The last time the Queen was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, it led to the notorious “Crowngate” affair.

Leibovitz, one of America’s most famous photographers, went behind the lens for a series of portraits of the monarch to mark her state visit to the US in 2007.

Among the shots was an imposing photograph of the Queen in a long dark cape, which was digitally superimposed against the sombre setting of the Buckingham Palace lake with grey skies and dark trees.

She also captured the Queen, in tiara, evening dress and white fur stole, gazing towards an open window, which looked out over the Palace gardens.

But it was the behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot in action, filmed for a BBC documentary, that caused a royal fiasco.

A trailer shown at a press launch for a programme about the Queen’s year was misleadingly edited by production company RDF to give the impression that the head of state had stormed out of the photo shoot with Leibovitz.

Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her “crown” - actually a tiara - for a “less dressy” shot.

The Queen, wearing a ceremonial robe, retorted: “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” The trailer then cut to the Queen apparently walking off with an aide, declaring: “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.”

This footage was actually filmed as the Queen made her way into the sitting - but BBC1 controller Peter Fincham told journalists the Queen had “walked out in a huff”.

The BBC eventually apologised to the Queen and to Leibovitz but the BBC Trust demanded a full explanation after there was a delay to the correction of the error.

The debacle ended with Mr Fincham’s resignation after an independent inquiry criticised both the BBC and RDF.

Leibovitz later described the monarch as “feisty” and said she had been captivated by the Queen.

“She is a woman with a great sense of duty. I mean, it’s like photographing your great-aunt or something like that. It really is - you know, she has so much energy and drive. And she definitely has opinions,” she said.