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Here’s a news flash: An Annie Leibovitz picture of Queen Elizabeth II is creating controversy. Excuse us while we alert the Royal Press Corps. (The photo seen here is a detail from the larger original.)

What is it about Leibovitz’s new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that is unacceptable? Does she not look handsome? Does she not look regal? That is the sum total of what she does for a living, as far as I know. The lady happens to live in castles with big rooms filled with old furniture. Why shouldn’t she be photographed that way? Portraiture doesn’t always need to amuse or confound expectations. (We’ve already had enough of that from Annie.) If there is a certain chill to the photo, who is to say it doesn’t eminate from the subject herself?

The portrait, made in honor the the Queen’s visit to the U.S., will be on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. For fun you can then go and see the Declaration of Independence, wherein we Americans told the Queen’s relative, King George III, to get lost.
—David Schonauer