The monarch bristles when the photographer suggests she remove her crown

By Drew Tewksbury
July 12, 2007 09:20 AM

Queen Elizabeth II was not amused when celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz suggested she remove her crown for a portrait, a clip from a new BBC documentary reveals.

In a trailer released Wednesday for the documentary A Year with the Queen, her majesty is shown entering a room in Buckingham Palace wearing her crown and regal Order of the Garter robes.

As she navigates the camera equipment in the extravagant room, Leibovitz says, “I think it will look better without the crown because the garter robe is so …”

“Less dressy? What do think this is?” the queen retorts. “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.”

The story caused a tongue-in-cheek furor in the UK, with tabloid headlines such as “Throne a Wobbler” (The Sun) and “One is Not Amused” (The Daily Mail).

Although the queen’s tart response is not in dispute, the BBC apologized Thursday for implying that she then walked out on the shoot. “In this trailer there is a sequence that implies that the Queen left a sitting prematurely,” the BBC said in a statement.

“This was not the case and the actual sequence of events was misrepresented. The BBC would like to apologize to both the Queen and Annie Leibovitz for any upset this may have caused.”

Leibovitz is well known for her iconic photographs of rock stars, screen legends and politicians, and on March 28 the queen sat for four demure official portraits just before a six-day visit to the United States.

A Year With the Queen, set to air this fall, offers exclusive access to the monarch’s life. A camera crew followed her across the world, shedding light on the 80-year-old queen’s daily routine and her ceremonial obligations.