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Leibovitz's photo
of Elizabeth II is unveiled

Leibovitz's photo
of Elizabeth II is unveiled

Queen Elizabeth II blends regal formality and royal bling in a new portrait by American celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Leibovitz photographed the U.K. monarch to commemorate her six-day visit to the United States. The queen's May 3-8 trip will be her fourth state visit to the United States and comes 50 years after her first, when she was a guest of President Eisenhower.

Leibovitz, 57, is perhaps best-known publicly for her photograph of a naked John Lennon hugging a fully clothed Yoko Ono for Rolling Stone magazine. Privately, Leibovitz was romantically attached to author Susan Sontag, who died in 2004.

Leibovitz's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is considerably more formal. The photo, unveiled to the public Wednesday, shows the queen in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, gazing out toward the palace lawns and dressed in a white fur stole, gold-embroidered evening dress, and diamond tiara.

Leibovitz said before the photo sessions in March that she wanted to take ''a very simple portrait.''

The picture is reminiscent of the formal portraits of the monarch's mother, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, by U.K. photographer Cecil Beaton.

''I like tradition,'' Leibovitz said. ''Cecil Beaton's pictures--they're very important to me.''

The queen will be in Virginia to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

She will attend the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and then travel to Washington, D.C., to meet President Bush and his wife, Laura. (AP)

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