A photo feast for Queen fans ... while Duchess Kate is feasting again

Majesty kids daimler 1957 windsor

Queen plays chauffeur for her children Charles and Anne in the Daimler in 1957. (TASCHEN/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)


The Duchess of Cambridge is catching up, but she'll have stand in front of a camera lens for a long time to come close to the number of times Queen Elizabeth has been photographed.

Hard to believe, but there are still some photographs among the millions that are considered to be rare. These are among the images that have been collected in a new book on the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty, by Taschen publishers.

The book, listed at $170 but going for $136 at amazon.ca, is available pre-order for a January release in Canada.

The photos have been gleaned from a variety of sources and include some rather famous photographers, from Cecil Beaton -- responsible for some of the most iconic shots of the monarch -- to Annie Leibovitz.

The fun of the book is some of the rare shots of the Queen caught in informality, like when she's driving her kids Anne and Charles through Windsor. Through her childhood days, to family life, to greeting movie stars, it's the story of a Queen as we do not often see her.

Cecil beaton queen nigeria 1955
Cecil Beaton photographing Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace prior to her trip to Nigeria in 1955. (TASCHEN/Victoria & Albert Museum)

Bettman Corbis Lisa Sheridan family at Great Lodge Windsor Park 1949
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth enjoy the garden life at the Royal Lodge at Windsor with daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. (TASCHEN/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)

Marilyn Monroe, standing between Victor Mature and Anthony Quayle, waits her turn to meet the Queen at the London premiere of "The Battle of the River Plate" in October 1956. (TASCHEN/Harry Myers/Rex Features)


For someone who couldn't even look at a piece of solid food without gagging a few weeks ago, the Duchess of Cambridge is being remarkably well-fed these days.

Kate, who was hardly finished digesting a Christmas feast with royal staffers on Tuesday, was at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday for the Queen's annual pre-Christmas lunch with family.

Sandringham_House(1)The meal marks the unofficial start to the monarch's winter season. As soon as the dishes are cleared, she is off to her Sandringham estate (right), two-and-a-half hours northeast of London, until February.

Kate, who joined Prince William and 27 Household staffers for a turkey dinner on Tuesday,  arrived by car at the Palace amid several shouts from an expectant gathering in front of the gates. Oddly enough, she was not accompanied by Prince William, who came in a separate car with his cousin Lord Linley.

The parade of cars loaded with royals made for a mini convoy. The lunch guest list was long, including among others, Prince Charles and Camilla; Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie; Prince Edward, Sophie and Lady Louise;  Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Sarah Chatto; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

A couple of notable absentees were Prince Harry and Princess Anne. Both were in Afghanistan at Camp Bastion, home to the UK troops. Harry, of course, has been there for months, flying missions against the Taliban in Apache attack helicopters.

The Queen's daughter, meanwhile, dropped in with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence to for a surprise visit with several different UK regiments, including the Military Working Dogs Squadron, one of several units of which she is Colonel-in-Chief. The dispatches don't mention whether she popped in on her nephew Harry, whose four-month tour of duty ends next month.

The Queen will be hoping for a less eventful Christmas season than last year. It was just before the big day that Prince Philip was sent to hospital for a little emergency heart surgery for a blocked artery. A week later, there was a murder victim found on the Sandringham estate. The case of who killed Alisa Dmitrijeva, 17, remains unsolved.



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