Cover Queen: Elizabeth II’s Life In 38 Magazine Covers
From infancy to marriage, from coronation to globetrotting, through until her death, Queen Elizabeth graced the covers of countless magazines. Here's an international collection, from 12 countries around the world, from her baby cover of TIME magazine in 1929 to being bid farewell from Brazil last week.
Queen Elizabeth II’s life encompassed so many aspects, from time-honored royal tradition to behind-the-scenes family drama to public acts of kindness. But the Queen was also a tour deforce of modern celebrity management. Seventy years of royal apparitions and iconic looks from her British throne to consistent globetrotting made her the most famous woman in the world — decade after decade — without it ever going over the top.
Like her 1952 coronation, one of the first public events to be covered live on television, her death on Sept. 8 at 96, and Monday’s funeral, were those rare moments when the world came together to celebrate the life of a single person.
The multiplication factor of mass media in the 20th century, and into the 21st, was seized by Elizabeth and the image shapers of the so-called “Firm” that carefully controlled her public exposure.
With TV interviews rare over the years, it fell to glossy magazine covers and feature stories to continually re-introduce the Queen to the world. It has been quite a show, color-block outfits combined matching dresses, coats and hats, subtle gestures and well-chosen words, with family or going solo, at home and abroad, Elizabeth was the ultimate Queen of magazine covers: Here's a selection, spanning her entire life, from 12 countries around the world.
Youth — A date with destiny
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926. Her father would rise to the throne in 1937 after the abdication of his brother Edward, instantly making Elizabeth the next heir to the crown. The young Princess made her first steps on the public scene during World War II, talking on the radio to reassure British children after being appointed colonel-in-chief of the Grenadier Guards in 1942.
Marriage — Prince Philip by her side
Elizabeth and Prince Philip started their romance in 1939, and were engaged eight years later, in 1947, which sparked some controversy. To ensure their union, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles to become Duke of Edinburgh. The couple got married in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. On their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen said that he had "quite simply been (her) strength and stay all these years."
Coronation — a crowning moment
Elizabeth became Queen after the sudden death of her father King George VI in February 1952. The circumstances delayed her coronation by a year and she was crowned on June 2 1953. Her coronation was the first ever to be televised, with BBC cameramen being allowed inside Westminster Abbey to film the ceremony. Around 27 million people in Britain watched the event and 11 million more were able to hear Her Majesty's speech on the radio.
Italy — Epoca
France — Paris Match
The only citizen in her country not obliged to hold a passport when traveling due to all British passports being issued in her name, the Queen made the news on every one of her nearly 100 state visits abroad and multiple tours of each of the nations of the Commonwealth.
These visits were the occasion to encounter successive politicians: She famously met 13 out of the 14 last U.S presidents and 15 British Prime Ministers, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, whom she appointed two days before she died.
Germany — Der Spiegel
Australia — Women's Weekly
Sweden — Aret Runt
Italy — Panorama
Sweden — Damernas
Germany — Der Spiegel
Diana — family tragedy
Perhaps a low moment of her reign was the dissolution of the marriage from Prince Charles, and subsequent death, of Princess Diana.
Canada — St Petersburg
Portugal — Caras
Bulgaria — Hello
France — L'Obs
Marriage — A 70 year-long love story
South Africa — YOU
Germany - Der Spiegel
The final rounds of covers came together, with the news of the Queen’s passing on Sep. 8. prompting front pages from newspapers and magazines around the world: "The world weeps", "Farewell to the Queen", "The rock Britain was built on"....
Brazil — Veja
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