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QUEEN OF DARKNESS; Her Majesty gets a rock ' roll makeover.


IT is a stunning image of a thoroughly modern monarch - the Queen as she has never been 'Photoshopped' before.

Rock and roll photographer Annie Leibovitz took an imposing shot of the cloaked Queen, and then used computer technology to transport Her Majesty to the mid-dle of a wilderness.

It is thought to be the first time that an official photograph of Elizabeth II has been digitally manipulated in such a manner.

The photo shows the monarch standing with her arms and hands hidden under a floor-length deep navy blue boat cloak.

The only flash of colour comes from the golden buttons and fas-tener and the Queen's carefully groomed silver-grey hair.

Then she has been digitally superimposed against a sombre setting - Buckingham Palace lake with grey skies and dark trees.

Leibovitz, known for her work for Rolling Stone magazine and Vanity Fair, has taken a set of photographs of the sovereign to mark the ongoing royal state visit to America.

Cecil Beaton famously photo-graphed the Queen in a boat cloak, which is also known as an Admi-ral's cloak, in the 1950s.

"I like tradition," said Leibovitz. "Cecil Beaton's pictures are very important to me."

The celebrity lenswoman is best known for her portraits on rock stars, especially the photograph of a naked John Lennon hugging a fully clothed Yoko Ono - taken just hours before the Beatle was murdered.

She once captured Hollywood actress Demi Moore naked and heavily pregnant for the cover of Vanity Fair. Buckingham Palace asked Leibovitz to take the official pictures, the sittings for which took place in March.

Such is her reputation that even Hollywood's biggest names are happy to do whatever Leibovitz asks during a shoot.

She once had Kate Winslet repeatedly dunked in a tank of water and photographed Clint Eastwood bound by ropes.

The Queen flew to Wash-ington DC last night, ahead of her meeting with President George W Bush tomorrow.


DARK SIDE: photographer Annie Leibovitz used computer technology in this new portrait of the Queen
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 6, 2007
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