House of Windsor star Mario Testino's British Royal Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

By Ben Miller | 05 November 2012
A black and white photo of a family of a father and two sons posing for a group portrait
Mario Testino, Prince Harry; Prince Charles; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2004). Gelatin silver print. Given by Mario Testino, 2011© AMAAZING Ltd
Exhibition Preview: Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, until February 3 2013

Mario Testino took his first royal portrait, of the Queen Mother and Prince Edward, in a spontaneous snap when they passed him while he was a bystander among the crowds watching the Prince of Wales’ marriage to Diana in 1981.

Since then he’s become a hotly-demanded fashion photographer for the likes of Gucci, Vogue and Vanity Fair – Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robbie Williams and Madonna have sat for him – as well as becoming a formal photographer for the House of Windsor, including a later, less impromptu portrait of the Princess of Wales.

This show coincides with his British Royal Portraits show in the States, at Boston’s Museum of Fine Art. Eight portraits include the official engagement memento of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and an official Christmas card featuring the Prince of Wales and family in 2004.

“I have a very special attachment with the National Portrait Gallery,” reflects Testino, who says he is “honoured” by his latest appearance in London.

“They hosted Portraits, the first museum exhibition of my work in England, in 2002. It is a privilege to be part of the history of this country through documenting the royal family.”

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