Throughout her 70-year reign and in the decades before, Her Majesty The Queen has lived through times of conflict, maintaining an enduring relationship with the armed forces and honouring those affected by war at home and across the world.
Marking the Platinum Jubilee this spring, IWM North will present a rich programme that, for the first time in the museum’s history, explores the role of The Royal Family in conflict, tracing The Queen’s personal experience of war through projections of film and photography.
As Princess Elizabeth, The Queen’s first public duties were during the Second World War, which broke out when she was 13 years old. Upon joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945, she became the first woman in The Royal Family to enlist as a full-time member of the armed services. Since then, The Queen has supported those who serve and veterans of conflict in her role as Head of the Armed Forces, a post that continues a long royal military tradition.
New research into IWM’s photography archive demonstrates just how keenly The Queen’s role as monarch has been shaped by her wartime experiences. This relationship between crown and conflict will be explored through IWM’s collections, bringing human stories to the foreground and providing a unique lens through which to join the national moment.
Archive IWM images
Throughout the month of June, the striking architecture of IWM North’s main exhibition space will host projections of film and photography that depict The Queen’s long history of involvement with the military and demonstrate the various roles she has played in war and peacetime.
Beginning with some of her first official engagements as young Princess Elizabeth, visitors to IWM North will be able to enjoy a rich selection of rarely seen archive material that surveys her life in an immersive and unique setting.