An up close and personal hoax that’s a lot of fun – and just in time to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne – a new photography exhibition has opened in London featuring candid and personal photos of “the queen” and other members of the royal family.
Jubilee: an Exhibition of Iconic Royal Images by Alison Jackson at the Pertwee Anderson & Gold pop-up Soho gallery features photographs of celebrity lookalikes doing the sorts of things those celebrities would never do … or at least never do while there was a photographer around. The lion’s share of images are of Queen Elizabeth. There’s “Liz” having a moment to herself, sitting upon a more everyday and colloquial sort of “throne”, and there she is forming a conga line with chums like Elton John and Lady Gaga and then some more “me time” shots of the Queen simply taking her dogs for a walk in front of a betting shop.
Others in the royal family are not spared from the unflinchingly funny focus of Alison Jackson’s lens. Prince William and his lovely wife Kate are the subjects of a number of intimate shots, such as when they were shot having coffee in bed with matching “King” and “Queen” mugs. Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, sits in the corner having a cigarette with a drunken slump looking royally left out of an otherwise festive scene.
The show is good natured enough with a bit of mild mockery and all the while makes clear the separation from ordinary people and the exalted. Jubilee doesn’t shock as much as it induces a mild chuckle or smirk. Viewing the exhibition comes with a bit of jealousy towards those so privileged, iconic or rich that a shot of them walking a dog could even seem ludicrous. But there’s also an accompanying sense of relief for the viewer who may consider the small joys and personal freedoms we non-celebrity folks are able to enjoy through our relative anonymity.
The Pertwee Anderson & Gold pop-up gallery is located at 2 Newburgh Street in Soho, W1F 7RD. The nearest Tube station is Oxford Circus. Jubilee: an Exhibition of Iconic Royal Images is on view now and runs until June 29, 2012. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 11am to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5pm.
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Photo: Chris Osburn