Why No Photos Were Snapped on the Day Princess Elizabeth Was Named Queen

On February 6, 1952, Princess Elizabeth became the queen of England, a position that she has held for the last 70 years, and one which she will be celebrating with a Platinum Jubilee (the first British monarch to achieve this milestone, btw).

But while this is a major achievement for the queen, it is also a complicated moment for the royal to reflect on, and there are actually no photos of her from this historic day. Here's why.

Queen Elizabeth II discovered that she had become the head of the British monarchy when she was only 25 years old, learning that her father, King George VI, had died of coronary thrombosis while she was on a trip to Kenya. To prevent a vacancy in the throne, Elizabeth was immediately deemed queen, but in order to give her time to grieve, her official coronation did not take place until a year later, on June 2, 1953.

The former princess was alerted of her father's passing by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and (understandably) these circumstances were quite emotional for her. Thus, granting her wishes, newspaper photographers refrained from snapping any photos of her that day.

queen hero
Bettmann/Getty Images

The events of that day were recounted by former photojournalist John Jochimsen, who told The Telegraph, “Myself and two other photographers drove to Sagana Lodge, hoping to take a photograph of the Princess, now Queen Elizabeth, leaving for London.”

However, this was not to be. “An official told us Her Majesty requested no pictures be taken,” he said. “We stood silently outside the lodge as the cars drove away in a cloud of dust, not one of us taking a shot at that historic moment. Seeing the young girl as Queen of Great Britain as she drove away, I felt her sadness, as she just raised her hand to us as we stood there silent, our cameras on the ground.”

Biographer Robert Lacey, who wrote The Queen: A Life in Brief, discussed the stoic (and probably shocked) manner in which the queen handled the series of events. “She was sitting erect, fully accepting her destiny,” he said.

Such an important and historic day.

Stay up-to-date on every breaking royal family story by subscribing here.


Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...