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Title: ‘I have to be seen to be believed’: What role did photography have in creating the modern British Monarchy and Royal Family in the early twentieth century?

Photography has always been popular with the Royal Family; the positive reaction towards the first published photographs caused the Monarchy to realise it could engineer its image through a medium readily available to the public. 

Today photographs of royals in non-royal settings, meeting ‘ordinary’ people do not look unusual. In the early twentieth century the British Monarchy evolved its role to engage directly with the British people and become more ‘dutiful’.  This research will look at how the British Monarchy adapted during this period of political and social upheaval, and to what extent photography was used as a public relations tool to create a desired image.  The project will also looks at the rise of the popular press and photojournalism which influenced the royals into becoming conscious of their public image. 


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