To celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, Debenhams in Harrogate will be hosting an exclusive royal photography exhibition in store until Saturday 9 June.
The event, which will take place in the store’s restaurant, will showcase a collection of 40 intimate – and some mysterious – photographs captured of the royal family from 1933 to present day, including some of Prince William’s first baby photos.
Taken by royal photographers Ian Pelham-Turner and Helena Chard, as well as featuring photographs by the late W.Jones, the event will showcase a unique collection of photos, many of which have only recently been re-discovered.
In March 2011, just ahead of the Royal wedding, 100,000 images taken by celebrity and royal photographer Ian Pelham-Turner were found in the cellar of a London building. Many of the photos were thought to have been lost forever. Months later, Ian Pelham-Turner was approached by the family of photographer, W. Jones, to look at his collection of photographs found in the attic of his home after his death.
As I looked through the photographs, I realised I was looking at a unique chronicle of Her Majesty’s childhood and some of the most prominent moments in Royal British history. What is more astounding is that there is absolutely no public recognition of W.Jones in any newspaper archive, so what was his status, and how did he manage to capture so many intimate images of the Queen?
W.Jones’ images include intimate photographs inside Buckingham Palace of the Queen during her coronation day, wedding day, and other family occasions, as well as a photograph of Edward VIII thought to have been taken just before his abdication speech.
Rumours have since surfaced that W.Jones was perhaps involved in Military Intelligence, using Royal photography as his cover story. We may never know the truth, but it is thanks to him that some of the most important moments in Royal history have been captured on camera.
It is these photos along with Ian’s own and those taken by Helena Chard which makes up this unique exhibition coming to Debenhams Harrogate.
Customers will also be able to hear from Ian Pelham-Turner himself who will be in store to talk about the photographs and answer any questions.
Store manager, Claire McAvan, said:
We’re thrilled to be able to bring this event to the store for our customers to enjoy, especially during Jubilee month when interest in the Royal Family is at fever pitch. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in Harrogate to view these very special photos close up and in person.
Customers will also have the chance to have their photo taken by the royal photographer. The photos will be available for customers to collect from the store two weeks later.
The exhibition will be on display in the store restaurant for customers to enjoy until Saturday 9 June.