Royal Family Photographer Shares His Top 5 Favorite Photos of Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II has just recently celebrated her 96th birthday. In so many years of life, she has tons and tons of photos that have been captured of her. There are so many, in fact, that it can be hard to choose a favorite. So one Getty Images royal photographer, Chris Jackson, chose five.

Jackson has worked closely with the royal family for over 20 years and has traveled to more than 100 countries with them. He’s taken countless photos of the Queen at countless events, but from his perspective, some of them are just better than others. But what exactly makes the photos so captivating?

His favorites usually occur when the Queen is doing something slightly out of the ordinary or something that really showcases her personality well.

The first photo he loves is one that he took while the Queen was visiting Lister Hospital in 2012. “Nurses and doctors had come gathered around, and the Queen was looking up at them,” he said of the photo. “And, for me, it’s just a slightly unusual expression. It makes me smile.”

“What you have to remember when you’re photographing the Queen is that she’s this incredible iconic figure, famous around the world, hugely respected,” Jackson told Insider during an interview. “When the light falls in the right way, or you get a slightly unexpected expression, you can take a photograph that lives on in the archives.”

Another favorite was this happy gem of the Queen taking home a trophy at the Royal Ascot in 2013.

“It’s almost cliché to say, but she does really light up when she’s around horses,” Jackson said. “This was such a lovely moment, because you saw genuine pride and enjoyment as she was handed the trophy. She lit up, and it’s almost reflecting the gold on her face.”

A more somber favorite of Jackson’s was when the Queen was visiting a World War I memorial for fallen soldiers in 2014.

“Remembering and looking back at those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice is such a key part of her duty, and Remembrance Sunday is absolutely one of the most important dates in the royal calendar,” Jackson said. “But to capture something that visually represented how important that is to the Queen was really special.”

These are some pretty great photos! Check out the video below for an interview with Royal Family Channel Presenter Sophie Braybrook, who chats with Jackson about these and other favorites of the Queen and the rest of the royal family. Also, get a glimpse into what it’s like working behind the lens with the royal family!

Wouldn’t it be cool to photograph the royal family as Jackson has for so many years? What do you think of these photos of the Queen and other members of the royal family that he’s snapped?