Intimate pictures of the royal family discovered in photographer's attic set to go on public display for the first time
Exhibition of W Jones work to be shown in Debenhams' Oxford Street store today
18:44 GMT, 1 June 2012
Some of the most intimate photographs of the royal family captured at key moments in history will go view to the public from today. The collection of 40 never
before seen photographs, some of which the Mail Online can exclusively reveal here, include a photograph of King Edward VIII thought to have been taken just
before his abdication speech, the Queen as a young princess before she came to the throne on pictures taken during her coronation and silver jubilee.
The images were only discovered in an attic last year following the death of mysterious photographer W. Jones. His family contacted royal photographer Ian Pelham-Turner, who has included W.Jones pictures in an exhibition of his own images of the royal family, which will go on display at Debenhams' flagship store on Oxford Street over the jubilee weekend before touring the country.
Ian said the W.Jones pictures are an intriguing and exciting discovery: 'As I looked through the photographs, I realised I was looking at a unique chronicle of Her Majesty's childhood and some of the most prominent moments in royal British history. What is more astounding is that there is absolutely no public recognition of W.Jones in any newspaper archive, so what was his status, and how did he manage to capture so many intimate images of the Queen'
He added: 'Rumours have since surfaced that W.Jones was perhaps involved in Military Intelligence, using Royal photography as his cover story. We may never know the truth, but it is thanks to him that some of the most important moments in royal history have been captured on camera.'
The exhibition is at Debenhams’ flagship store on Oxford Street from today and will
then tour the following Debenhams stores throughout June: Debenhams
Harrogate, 7 – 9 June, Debenhams Chester, 13 – 15 June, Debenhams
Bournemouth 19 – 21 June, Debenhams Colchester 25 – 27 June, Debenhams
Harrow 28 – 30 June. You can view some of those on display below…
On board: In this exclusive picture taken before she came to the throne, the Queen joins her father King George VI on a tour of HMS Vanguard South Africa in 1947. The picture was one of those discovered in the attic of mysterious photographer W. Jones after his death
World at her feet: The Queen in South Africa in 1947, left, in another of W.Jone's snaps and after announcing her engagement to Prince Philip in the same year
The King's speech: The Queen's uncle, Edward VIII prepares to make his abdication speech in 1936. He was succeeded by the Queen's father. It is not known how photographer W.Jones had access to such private moments
Jubilant: The Queen beams in the centre of this royal family portrait taken on the day of her coronation
Beginning official duties: The Queen and Prince Philip on the first opening of parliament in November 1952
Happy family: Prince Charles and his father share a joke as they arrive at a service to mark the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977
Pomp and circumstance: Here the Queen takes part in another silver jubilee earlier in her life, that of her grandfather King George V in 1935. She travels in a carriage with her parents and sister
Regal: The Queen in her coronation gown that was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell
Power meeting: King George VI and the Queen Mother with the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his wife in 1938
Royal exhibition: A look-a-like of Her Majesty views the collection of photos that go on display in Debenhams from today
The exhibition is at Debenhams’ flagship store on Oxford Street from today and will then tour the following Debenhams stores throughout June: Debenhams Harrogate, 7 – 9 June, Debenhams Chester, 13 – 15 June, Debenhams Bournemouth 19 – 21 June, Debenhams Colchester 25 – 27 June, Debenhams Harrow 28 – 30 June.