The Real Royals?
The thing about the British Royals is that they’re very good not getting caught looking very badly. At least, that is, the majority of the time. (Quit that grinning, Prince Harry, one still fondly recalls the in-the-buff-ness of Las Vegas.)
Many of the politically correct broadsheet newspaper images of the House of Windsor that reach us commoners present pleasant scenes of the Queen grasping palms most regally at a garden party, or teach us precisely how to wear our eye liner just as the Duchess of Cambridge does. Most recently, we’ve been sucked up into a rip current of syrupy pictures of Prince George playboy-ing his way through a tour of New Zealand. Oh, and there’s always lots of union flag bunting. A rare gem, Queen Driving Range Rover, is indeed authentic, but sadly an exception to a rather stoic rule.
Fortunately, there blossoms an artist named Alison Jackson who provides fodder which can satisfy our cravings to gaze into the unconventional underbelly of the Royal Family’s dealings. Jackson is a Hampshire-born contemporary artist who explores the cult of celebrity – an increasingly omnipresent, modern gathering of souls of sorts, which coalesces via tabloid magazines and tacky gossip websites and thrives on a lust to devour every detail about famous individuals. If certain famous individuals happen to be sprung of noble blood, or at least had a noble title sprung upon them, they are entirely more scrumptious for the gory and flashy act of devouring.
Jackson is an imaginative photographer who captures glossy and provocative vignettes of celebrities going about their business, and sometimes misbehaving, in private using lookalikes that verge on veritable doppelgängers. She creates scenarios we have all snickered about together or envisioned but have never before seen – the saucy paparazzi snaps the media would love to pay for. Jackson’s quite convincing photographs raise questions about whether or not we should believe what we see when we live in an ever more mediated world of screens, pixels, and voyeurism.
Scope out some of her prodigious creative output below; some of her best and most double-take-forcing pictures portray the British Royal Family in humorous, sometimes racy fashion, and peer into the power and seductive nature of imagery, and our desire to believe[i]. Carbon copy twins of the Duke of Edinburgh must be troublesome to scout out, though.
[i] Alison Jackson, “Bio”, Alison Jackson Online: http://www.alisonjackson.com/bio/
[ii] Images courtesy www.alisonjackson.com and thesun.co.uk