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.
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.
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.