LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. photographer Annie Leibovitz said on Wednesday Queen Elizabeth seemed “a little perturbed” during a 2007 photo shoot at the center of a British broadcasting scandal.
The head of the British state broadcaster’s television flagship BBC One resigned last year after he was faulted for presenting footage from a documentary showing the Queen apparently storming out of the shoot at Buckingham Palace.
In fact, the footage was of the monarch walking into the room which had been edited out of sequence.
The BBC apologized to the Queen, but blamed production company RDF for supplying the footage edited out of sequence.
Leibovitz said she had agreed to have the photo shoot filmed for a documentary, although the camera crew only managed to get the monarch entering and leaving the session.
“...which is what they got, only they got it a little confused,” she told reporters at the launch of her photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
“The thing the BBC missed completely was that she was storming into the shoot.”
Leibovitz said the Queen appeared out of sorts as she arrived for a scheduled 25-minute session. The four resulting portraits of the Queen in her full royal regalia are on display at “Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005.”
“She looked a little perturbed and I knew something was up,” said Leibovitz, best known for her celebrity photographs. “She said ‘I don’t have much time, I don’t have much time’. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, is this going to be five minutes?’”
In the end the monarch was affable and professional during the shoot, Leibovitz said, and added that she thought it might be the last time the Queen posed for such photographs.
“I think that’s probably the last time she gets dressed up in her clothing for a photo. I think she thinks it’s a waste of time.”
The exhibition features photographs of some of the world’s most famous actors, artists and politicians as well as more intimate images of Leibovitz’s family, children and partner Susan Sontag, the author and critic who died in 2004.
“This ... work is what I consider my best work from 1990 to 2005 and coincided with the death of Susan Sontag, the death of my father and the birth of my children, so it was kind of a life cycle happening at that moment,” Leibovitz said.
“Would I do this today? Would I put my family and Susan through that today? I don’t think so,” she added.
Leibovitz took reporters on a tour of the exhibition, which runs until February 1, 2009.
She highlighted photographs of a nude and pregnant Demi Moore, of her mother and of U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration at the White House at the end of 2001.
Leibovitz said she was surprised that the administration opened the White House doors to her so soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and added: “I think they thought it showed strength of some kind.”