Friday, March 19, 2010

Three Queens In Mourning

"The king is dead. Long live the queen."

Ron Case was a young press photographer for the now-defunct Keystone Press Agency. Ron took a lot of photographs in his life. He traveled the world; he covered the Vietnam war; but he will always be remembered for this photo he took on February 16, 1952 at the funeral of King George VI. The photo was captioned "Three Queens In Mourning" and the name stuck.

Right, the king's wife, Queen Elizabeth; center, the king's mother, Queen Mary; left, the king's daughter: no longer the vivacious Princess Elizabeth but suddenly Queen Elizabeth II Regina.


  1. Not wishing to pick holes or anything, but haven't you left out a generation or two? And a king or three?

    It's a very poignant picture but I don't recall seeing it before.

  2. Famous pic. I think it caused an upset as it was getting to close to them in their grief.
    Tsk! Just think what the press do today!

  3. @A. -So far. :)

    @Adullamite - I was thinking it was a bit intrusive when I saw it. I have seen it before. But that's what the press do, I suppose. More today, as you say.

  4. #
    Princess Elizabeth - Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. Born April 21, 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-...
    2 days ago
    Page not found
    Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Britishspeak does not exist.

    Oooh... I see. You published and then were visited by some very persuasive chaps, who spoke awfully politely whilst showing you pictures of the dungeons in the Tower, I'll assume you then declared yourself to be prostrated with grief at the possibility that Her Majesty might view you with disfavour, and cravenly agreed to scrub that page.

    i will therefore not publish the method that allowed me to read your deleted post.

  5. No generations lost, just 2 kings died. The woman in the center was the wife of King George V. As the wife of a king, she is a queen. Her son became George VI, the woman on the right became his queen. Since they had no sons, the woman on the left became queen. So, 2 queens are wives of 2 deceased kings, and the third queen is the ruling monarch, her husband being prince-consort, not king.

  6. I was lucky enough, during my very early years as a journalist, to attend a lecture delivered by Ron Case on the importance of good press photography.
    He touched on this image simply to demonstrate how an iconic photograph which is widely used and printed could actually not generate any money for the person who took it.
    As Ron was employed by the Keystone Press Agency, they were the ones who got paid every time another newspaper or book or magazine reproduced it.

  7. @Louise Auty - Thank you for stopping by, and for your comment. I think it is really cool you actually saw Ron Case in person.

    Yorkshire girls are always welcome here. :)



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