Crowngate

Monday, November 3, 2008



The British now have a name for it – Crowngate!

As reported earlier, the controversy began when Annie Leibovitz photographed the queen of England. A BBC documentary crew recording the portrait session for a documentary on the Queen, caught a moment when Leibovitz told her royal subject she might look better without her tiara. In a subsequent trailer promoting the film this scene was followed by a shot of the queen walking through Buckingham Palace, saying, "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing up like this, thank you very much." The implication was that Leibovitz had offended the Queen, who then stormed out of the session. In fact, the clip of her walking through the palace was shot before the portrait session but was falsely edited to create buzz and also apparently to make Leibovitz look like a crass American. (This ethical lapse led to the resignation of BBC1 controller Peter Fincham.)

After a regal silence on the subject, Annie Leibovitz finally gave her side of the 'Crowngate' photo shoot last week at the opening of her exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The Queen was, in fact, "storming into the shoot" said Leibovitz. "They could have had just as good a story just showing that she got a little pissed, a little perturbed, a little bit frustrated. That was interesting enough, I think, and they had to go and make something else up."

Leibovitz defended the Queen's right not to be in the best of moods. "Most people don't like to be photographed," she said. "It's pretty normal that you can have that rough start. As she came in she said, 'I don't have much time'." By the end of the shoot, however, everything was fine, however, and apparently the Queen loved the photos.

Meanwhile Leibovitz's use of the word "pissed" in connection with the Queen's mood has given the British press even more to chew on!


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