No rest for the wicked... :) The official photos from Princess Charlotte's christening have been released, and as we suspected, they are gorgeous. Taken by Mario Testino at the Sandringham Estate, they carry his signature style. I love that William and Kate chose this shot with George pulling at his hair. It is obviously a posed photo, but that touch of the natural--allowing his personality to pop through--was a very sweet touch.
The group photo turned out very well. It is interesting that the Queen and Camilla are both in assertive pastels, as opposed to the Middletons' neutrals. They all work together, but it does serve as a distinction, whether intentional or not. I am just now noticing that Camilla's outfit seems to match Prince Charles's tie. Other random reflections include: I think Carole looks fantastic here, and doesn't George look hilarious all somber with his feet on the sofa? You know what also looks amazing? The room! Gorgeous location.
The Daily Mail has run an article in which they describe the room, and I have to share:
The Drawing Room has a musical theme to it with pictures of musical instruments on the ceiling and on the finger plates of the doors. The room was described by Queen Victoria in her journal as 'a very long and handsome drawing room, with painted ceilings and panels with two fireplaces.'Italian craftsmen were brought to Sandringham to carve the intricate panelling on the walls and cornices, and to paint the trompe l'oeil ceiling panels. The carved panelling derives from the French Louis XVI style of the late 18th Century. Its white marble fire-places, painted ceiling and pastel shades are typical of the Edwardian taste.The portraits set into the wall panelling in the background of the photograph were painted by Edward Hughes in 1896 and depict the two youngest daughters of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra – Princesses Victoria and Maud.The elaborately gilded glazed cabinets, parts of which can be seen in the background of the photographs, are thought to be Danish and contain silver gilt and Bohemian glass. Both Queen Alexandra and later Queen Mary were great collectors of objets d'art.
This father-son portrait is very sweet, beautifully conveying both George's joy and William's delight in his child. I hope, however, that the Palace does not count this as a birthday photo. We will need new photos of George in several weeks. :)
Lastly, my favorite, the mother-daughter shot with Kate looking down at her wide-awake and alert little girl. This has a very natural feel to it. The lighting makes it seem like an impromptu snap, as it well might be, although it could just as easily be Testino's deliberate technique. I think that Charlotte looks very much like a Middleton, except here I am catching a little bit of Queen Elizabeth II's intense-scrutiny stare.
As everyone knows, Mario Testino took William and Kate's engagement photos, and it was said that the below shot was impromptu--that he saw it, loved it, and snapped. A lot of candid moments can happen on a photoshoot, so perhaps only those present can know if this story is legend or true. In any event, I think it is a favorite for many.
Quoted in the aforementioned Mail piece, Testino said about the christening shoot:
'Photographing Princess Charlotte's christening was an amazing experience. What impressed me the most was the energy of the family, and of that between the Duke and Duchess. One sees how solid they are together and one gets a sense of their strong family values. 'It was incredible to be able to document four generations of the British Royal Family together – the monarch and three heirs to the throne – and very heart-warming to see the close relationship between them all.''I am overwhelmed and honoured to be chosen to document this occasion and to carry on the documentation of the family that is the soul of this country, a country that has given me.'
Testino is famous for his portraits of Princess Diana, which highlighted her glamour and beauty while maintaining a simple sophistication. I secretly (or not so secretly) hope that Kate will do a shoot with him sooner rather than later. I honestly think it is time she had some really elegant, official photos taken...preferably styled in gowns, and maybe with something denoting her royalty. A tiara, you say? I would not object...