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Flashback Friday: celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

HELLO! marked the milestone with a special celebration issue

the queen diamond
February 9, 2018
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To celebrate the 30th birthday of HELLO!, we are looking back at some of our best-loved covers. This week we revisit February 2012 when we honoured the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a special celebration issue, which included new portraits and touching family tributes. One of the official portraits showed Her Majesty looking more regal than ever as she stood in front of the windows at Buckingham Palace, ablaze with diamonds befitting a monarch celebrating 60 years on the throne.

The Queen was posing amid the grandeur of the Palace's Centre Room, by the French doors that lead out to the famous balcony where the royal family gathers on special occasions. For the portrait, Her Majesty wore a white silk, satin and lace state dress created by Angela Kelly – the Queen's in-house designer – featuring a scalloped edge and glittering with silver sequins.

the queen diamond jubilee cover© Photo: HELLO!

This week we revisit February 2012 when we honoured the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Glistening in her hair was the state diadem, a circlet of diamonds created in 1820 by George IV for his coronation. Combining three national emblems – rose, thistle and shamrock – it was worn by his niece Queen Victoria for her coronation in 1838, and again some 115 years later by our own Queen. Around her neck, the monarch wore Queen Victoria's Collet necklace. Weighing 161 carats, it was made in 1858 from 28 collet stones removed from a Garter Badge and a ceremonial sword.

Revealed: the moment the Queen learnt she was heir to the throne

The portraits were the work of famed royal photographer John Swannell. At the time, he told HELLO!: "Because this is such an important Jubilee, I didn't want to do just another snapshot; I wanted to do something adventurous. On such important occasions, the Queen is usually seen on the Palace balcony, so I did the very opposite. I photographed her inside the Palace looking out on to the balcony and the Queen Victoria Monument."

The Queen Mother's advice to the Queen revealed

"I think it works as an interesting picture," he added. "I put up the idea to her staff, who then put it to the Queen and she agreed to stand with her back to the window. We did the shot just before she left for Christmas at Sandringham. I usually get ten minutes with her, but this time she gave me an hour because she thought it was such a very important picture."

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