Jubilee Exhibition Reveals a Familiar, Yet Unknown Queen

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If you take into account her image on stamps, coins and banknotes, Queen Elizabeth II is the most depicted person in all human history.

"Since her birth in 1926," says art historian Paul Moorhouse, in his introduction to the catalog of a National Portrait Gallery exhibition celebrating the queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, "she has been portrayed more frequently than any other sitter in history."

Part of the reason is her longevity. In modern times, only one other monarch, Queen Victoria, has achieved her 60th jubilee. In his own catalog essay to the show, "The Queen: Art & Image" (starting its national tour at Edinburgh's National Gallery of Scotland), historian David Cannadine points out that the queen is also "the only British monarch yet to complete the grand ceremonial and commemorative slam of a Silver, a Golden and a Diamond Jubilee."

The other part of the story is that, during her reign, the means of making, mass-producing and disseminating images has gone from photography to the Internet....

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