Annie Leibovitz: Queen was ‘p***ed’

Queen Elizabeth was “frustrated” during her infamous photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz, according to the photographer.

Annie has given her fullest account to date of last year’s photoshoot, which resulted in BBC1 controller Peter Fincham resigning after the TV channel suggested the queen stormed out of the shoot “in a huff” in a trailer for the documentary A Year With The Queen.

She said: “We were all very nervous. The queen came down the hall and she looked a little perturbed. I knew something was up. All her dressers were about 20 feet away – no one was near her. She was coming down the hall very purposefully. As she came in she said, ‘I don’t have much time’.

“They could have had just as good a story just showing that she got a little p***ed, a little perturbed, a little bit frustrated. That was interesting enough, I think, and they had to go and make something else up.”

Speaking at the opening of her exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, which includes the pictures of the queen, Annie revealed she only let the documentary crew film the 82-year-old monarch entering and exiting the photoshoot.

She added it was “normal” for her subjects to feel uncomfortable at the beginning of a session, and explained the queen loved the pictures.

Annie said: “The thing that the BBC missed completely was that she was storming into the shoot.

“We have to remember her age and she was wearing a 75lb cloak. Most people don’t like to be photographed, it’s pretty normal that you can have that rough start.”

The trailer for A Year With The Queen seemed to show the queen walking out of the shoot after telling a lady-in-waiting: “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough of dressing like this, thank you very much.”

Fincham described the footage as “a very memorable little sequence”, adding at a press conference: “Definitely the memorable bit is Leibovitz getting it
wrong and the queen losing it a bit and walking out in a huff.”

When it came to light the footage had been shown out of chronological order the BBC apologised and Fincham resigned.