Photographer Martin Parr sends signed copy of new book to the Queen

Greer McNally
Contributor
Photographers David Bailey (left) and Martin Parr during the private view of photo-london, the first annual art fair in the UK dedicated to photography, at The Royal Academy in central London.

The Queen has been photographed many times in her life – by famous snappers and by the general public – and most have opted to include the regent’s face in their pictures  – but not Martin Parr. When he came to take her picture, he shot her back instead. The resulting picture is now part of the book Only Human – and there’s a signed copy of the publication in the post to the monarch today.

The inscription at the front of the book reads: “I have the honour to remain your majesty’s most humble and obedient servant.” The book’s publisher, Phaidon, shared the news on their Instagram feed.


The Queen has featured in Parr’s work before but often in postcard form. He said about such a shot in 1997. “Although she has been the subject of postcards for many years, the depiction of the Queen changes all the time.” Adding that the postcard in her image “shares a rack with similar ones of cream cakes, pints of beer and fish and chips.

Queen Elizabeth II has never officially sat for him.

Martin Parr’s photograph of the Queen Elizabeth II

Read more: Photos: Queen Elizabeth’s Fresh Floral Style Over the Years

Parr, who is a member of Magnum Photos, is famous for his larger than life images of British life. The book Only Human was published to coincide with the original EU exit date. There is an accompanying exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Read more: Martin Parr’s striking portraits explore what it means to be British

In 2017, the World Photography Organisation awarded Martin Parr its Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. This year’s winner is Nadav Kander. An exhibition of his work is part of the Sony World Photography Awards at London’s Somerset House.