Queen on display in Leibovitz retrospective

Three official portraits of the Queen will be included in a 15-year retrospective of American celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz to open Saturday in Washington.

Three official portraits of the Queen will be included in a 15-year retrospective of American celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz which opens Saturday in Washington.

It's the first time the portraits of Queen Elizabeth, done in an official photo shoot in May, have been included in the show Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005.

The exhibit, now touring the U.S., will open Saturday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

Its 200 photographs include high-fashion magazine portraits, reportage photography and personal snapshots.

One portrait features the Queen in an opulent palace drawing room wearing a diamond tiara, embroidered gown and fur stole as she gazes wistfully out a window at dark skies.

Another shows the Queen outdoors on the palace grounds against a dark, theatrical backdrop of trees and a pond.

Leibovitz, the first American to do a commissioned portrait of the Queen, said she researched previous photographs before the shoot and was disappointed with what she saw.

"I have to say quite honestly, I felt as if her countrymen had sort of thrown her away, like she wasn't really photographed with any kind of seriousness," Leibovitz said.

Royal shoot started with icy glare

Leibovitz's portraits of the monarch are regal and sober, but she described the shoot as "fantastic."

The photographer described the awkward moment at the beginning of the shoot when Leibovitz suggested the Queen remove her crown.

She earned an icy glare for the suggestion, caught in a BBC documentary and later misinterpreted as a rift between the two.

Leibovitz, 58, said she was "thrown" when the Queen arrived wearing her crown, because another portrait without the tiara was scheduled to be shot first.

The Queen gestured to her attire and said: "What do you think this is?"

Leibovitz said she loved the Queen's obvious spirit. "I said, 'Of course, she's tired of wearing those clothes. She's in her 80s, it's hard to put them on, and the cape weighs like 75 pounds."'

The show includes a black and white photo ofBill Clinton's first day in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush and his cabinet shortly after 9-11 and Bruce Willis cradling then-wife Demi Moore's belly when she was pregnant with their first child.

It also includes shots of celebrities Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Johnny Cash and Scarlett Johansson, as well as images from Kosovo and Rwanda.

The exhibit mixes images of happier times, such as her travels with long-time companion Susan Sontag and sad events in Leibovitz's life, including final images of her father and Sontag,who died in 2004.

With files from the Associated Press