'What Do You Think This Is?': Queen Sasses Photographer in Resurfaced Clip

How do you think Queen Elizabeth II would react if an American photographer asked her to take off her tiara during a photoshoot because it would look "less dressy"? Probably exactly as you'd imagine, as a recently unearthed clip shows.

The video which is doing the rounds on TikTok, shows the queen during a portrait sitting with superstar photographer Annie Leibovitz in 2006.

The photoshoot was arranged ahead of the monarch's state visit to the U.S at the invitation of President George W. Bush. The commission marked an important milestone in the queen's reign as Leibovitz became the first American to take an official portrait of the monarch.

The shots were arranged to reference a famous 1930s photoshoot taken by Cecil Beaton of the queen's mother in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace and the whole event was to be filmed for the 2007 BBC documentary series Monarchy: The Royal Family At Work.

The TikTok video posted by user brittoker shows an interaction between Leibovitz and the queen who was wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter and her famous diamond tiara.

"I think it will look better without the crown," Leibovitz told the monarch. "Could we try it without the crown? It will look better—less dressy."

To this the queen is shown to be visibly exasperated, responding: "less dressy! What do you think this is?" gesturing to the rest of her elaborate outfit.

When Leibovitz again suggests that the crown might be removed "just for a couple of frames," in the video, the queen is shown to laugh at the suggestion.

The video then changes to a clip from the documentary series which caused a backlash against the BBC when it aired during a trailer for the show in 2007.

The queen is shown dressed in the outfit for the photoshoot walking through the halls of Buckingham Palace saying: "I'm not changing anything. I've done enough dressing like this thank you very much."

In the BBC trailer, it was implied that the queen's reaction came as a result of the questioning by Leibovitz and that the monarch was walking out of the photoshoot. In reality, the clip showed the queen walking into the photoshoot.

After the press started commenting on the video, the BBC issued a joint apology to the queen with the production company that made the documentary RDF Television saying:

"The BBC and RDF Television, the producers of the BBC1 series A Year with the Queen, would like to clarify that the clips shown in a promotional trailer on July 11 were not intended to provide a full picture of what actually happened or of what will be shown in the final program."

"This was an important photo shoot prior to the Queen's visit to the United States. In this trailer, there is a sequence that implies that the Queen left a sitting prematurely," the statement continued. "This was not the case and the actual sequence of events was misrepresented. The BBC would like to apologize to both the Queen and Annie Leibovitz for any upset this may have caused."

Queen Elizabeth II Annie Leibovitz
A viral TikTok video shows Queen Elizabeth II interacting with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz in 2007. The queen (L) photographed October 23, 2018. Leibovitz (R) photographed January 13, 2016. Katwijk/Getty Images/Mike Marsland/WireImage

The queen's mood on the day in question was later explained by her close aide and dresser Angela Kelly who wrote in her 2019 book The Other Side of The Coin:

"On the day, Her Majesty was scheduled to meet only Annie's daughter and was expecting just a handful of people to be present," she wrote.

"When the Queen arrived she was met by nearly fifteen people in the room, standing in a straight line, and many members of the press, Kelly continued. "A misunderstanding meant that footage was captured and broadcast of the Queen apparently 'storming out' of the photoshoot. This was not an accurate account of what happened. Her Majesty was not 'storming' anywhere: she was making her way to the shoot as planned and hadn't time to meet so many people.

"I have always felt so bad for Annie about how this was later reported, as she really didn't deserve to be misrepresented in that way," she concluded.

Annie Leibovitz Queen Elizabeth II Potoshoot
Annie Leibovitz standing in front of one of her shots of Queen Elizabeth II taken at Buckingham Palace in 2006. JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The queen clearly did not hold a grudge as the images from the shoot have become some of her most famous with examples being added to the National Portrait Gallery's collection in London.

When the queen turned 90 in 2016 she commissioned Leibovitz to do a private photographic sitting where the monarch was captured with members of her family and her beloved corgis.

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