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Princess Diana: Never-before-seen photo of late royal unveiled

The image is part of a new royal photography exhibition at Kensington Palace

princess diana
Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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A never-before-seen photograph of Princess Diana is set to go on display at Kensington Palace from 4 March as part of a new exhibition exploring the royal family's enduring relationship with the camera.

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The black-and-white image shows the late royal looking away from the viewer and appearing reserved and stoic. It was taken by acclaimed photographer David Bailey as part of a 1988 sitting commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

WATCH: Rare photographs of the royal family go on display at Kensington Palace

A number of snapshots were taken at the time – however, this particular portrait was retained by David for his personal archive and as such has never been seen in public.

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Diana herself chose the photographer for the commission. She was only the second member of the Royal Family to sit for Bailey, the first being Lord Snowdon – husband of Princess Margaret, and himself a renowned photographer – in 1965.

princess diana new portrait

The striking portrait of Princess Diana has been unveiled

The portrait joins some of the most iconic royal photographs ever taken, alongside images providing a glimpse of the Royal Family off-duty – from the reign of Queen Victoria to the present day.

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In addition to the photograph of Diana, a selection of images taken by Royal Family members themselves will also go on display at Kensington Palace for the first time, illustrating how, in addition to being some of the most photographed people in the world, they have often been found behind the camera as well.

princess diana portrait hung

It will go on display at Kensington Palace

Included amongst these will be work by Lord Snowdon, himself a former resident of Kensington Palace. He was one of Britain's best-known photographers, capturing some of the 20th century's most revealing and 'modern' images of monarchy.

david bailey

Photographer David Bailey captured the image in 1988

Poignantly, Kensington Palace is now home to Diana's eldest son, Prince William and his family. Wife Kate is herself an avid and talented photographer and has shared a number of personal photos of her children in celebration of important milestones, including birthdays.

Life Through a Royal Lens opens at Kensington Palace on 4 March 2022 and is included in palace admission.

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