12 JULY 2007

Wearing her heavy, velvet Order of the Garter Robes, a gold embroidered evening dress and diamond tiara as requested, Queen Elizabeth looked the height of regal splendour as she posed for a portrait in Buckingham Palace for renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz. But it seems the March photo shoot to mark her state visit to the US did not go entirely smoothly after footage was released from a new documentary that covered the session.

The straight-talking celebrity snapper apparently incurred the monarch's displeasure by changing her mind and saying: "I think it would look better without the crown."

To which the Queen responds: "Less dressy? What do you think this is?" She added: "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough of dressing like this, thank you very much."

Fortunately, the sovereign still agreed to pose for the portrait - tiara intact - gazing wistfully out of the window. Annie, whose subjects have included a naked and heavily pregnant Demi Moore, admitted that she admired the 81-year-old royal for speaking her mind.

The extraordinary scene will be shown on the BBC in the autumn as part of a fly-on-the wall five-part series entitled A Year With The Queen which shows her going about her daily life and royal duties.

It covers the monarch's 80th birthday celebrations, the State Opening of Parliament, Royal tours, investitures and garden parties. BBC One controller Peter Fincham said the production team had "remarkable access" to the royal family.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Queen, shown in one of the final portraits, was seemingly unhappy by the top photographer's request for her to remove her tiara so she looked "less dressy"Click on photo to enlarge
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