Behind-the-scenes with the Queen: Candid photos reveal intimate moments with Her Majesty on set of shoot for holographic portrait
12:48 GMT, 17 April 2012
A newly released set of photographs from a 2004 photoshoot gives us a glimpse of the Queen as we have rarely seen her.
In candid behind-the-scenes snaps taken by artist Chris Levine's assistant Nina Duncan on a two-day shoot for his holographic portrait Equanimity, the Queen is shown smiling warmly, or sitting pensive with her eyes closed.
Elsewhere, she is being helped into her clothes by her personal assistant Angela Kelly – a lavish set of costumes including the ermine-trimmed cloak she ultimately wore in the resulting portrait – and an opulent blue cloak.
Most endearingly of all, we are afforded a glimpse of the Queen positioning her crown – the Diamond Diadem, created for George IV and worn by Her Majesty for the procession to her Coronation in 1953 – in front of the mirror.
The snaps were taken by Nina Duncan when Levine was commissioned by the Island of Jersey to create a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 to commemorate 800 years of allegiance to the crown by the Island.
To create the over-life-size three-dimensional portrait, Levine himself took over 10,000 images and 3D data-sets of Her Majesty during two
sittings at Buckingham Palace. Meanwhile, Nina took these intimate photographs that we see here now.
The Queen prepares for a 2004 holographic portrait, taken by Chris Levine and commissioned by the Island of Jersey. The portrait was to commemorate 800 years of allegiance to the crown by the Island
The final hologram, mounted in glass
and illuminated by a strip of blue LEDs, was met with worldwide acclaim.
historical context of the portrait was a an eventful time for the
Queen. The year 2004 saw the union between Charles and Camilla grow
stronger, with the two announcing their engagement just two months into
2005. Positive feeling towards the Royals was
at a low, with many complaining of the cost of the Royal family – and
saying they would never accept Camilla as Queen.
rumours surrounding the affairs of Diana, Princess of Wales would not
die, and Paul Burrell's continuing presence served only to fuel their
flames. Video footage showing Diana criticising Charles had recently been aired in the U.S. The Liberal Democrats had recently called for a referendum to 'axe the Queen.'
Perhaps, during some of those pensive moments, the Queen was
reflecting on the issues she and the other Royals faced during this
tumultuous time – and how she could shift public opinion.
Of his portrait, Levine says: 'When word came back from the Palace that Her Majesty 'was tickled by the idea of being made into a hologram' things got serious and a date was put in the diary for the shoot.
'When I initially got the call for the commission, I thought it was someone playing games. It seemed so far-fetched and hard to believe that, until an official date was set, I told myself that shouldn't get too attached to the idea because I imagined it would all fall through.
'It was of course a great privilege and honour to be selected and it was a commission I put my heart and soul into. I couldn't have imagined the success of the work today.'
Levine is now set to release a commeorative holographic poster of the work in time for the Diamond Jubilee.
A moment of levity as the Queen treats everyone present to a winning smile
The Queen, captured in a pensive moment between
shots, and right, in the white ermine-trimmed garment she ultimately
wears in the resulting portrait
The Queen wore a variety of lavish clothing for
the shoot, including regal velvet cloaks and, of course, her crown.
Right, Angela Kelly helps the Queen with her cloak
Experienced with the constant gaze upon her, the Queen seems to be comfortable with the production going on in the room
Levine, who produced holographic portraits and a light-up version from the photographs, played with the lighting on the shoot to allow him to create the necessary holographic effect later
To create the over-life-size three-dimensional portrait, Chris Levine took over 10,000 images and 3D data-sets of Her Majesty during two sittings at Buckingham Palace. The final hologram is mounted in glass and illuminated by a strip of blue LEDs
Levine's shoot was highly technical, necessitating hours of preparation to achieve the necessary number of portraits to create the 3D image
The Queen's loyal assistant, designer and personal dresser Angela Kelly has worked for Her Majesty since 2002
A body of work was shot at Buckingham Palace over two sittings and the title works, Equanimity and Lightness of Being, have been widely acclaimed worldwide. Here, the artist Chris Levine, in purple shirt, talks to the Queen
Shooting with a fresh eye, Levine took photos of the Queen from unexpected angles – in profile, and even of her crossed ankles
The Queen waits patiently during what must have been a very long shoot
The highly technical set up involved a green screen set up in Buckingham Palace, and coils of wires snaking everywhere
Chris Levine with his work, Equanimity, the first holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The hologram, set in glass, mounted on granite and illuminated by a strip of blue LEDs
Chris Levine took many portraits of the Queen as a study for his finished holographic work, some of which, including this eyes-closed picture, have won him much admiration