This year, countries across the Commonwealth are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, our longest serving monarch since Queen Victoria (we’ve previously published a Jubilee book list).
To commemorate this year’s event, Jon Curry and Hugo Simms have created a remarkable chronicle of London in the reigns of Victoria and Elizabeth II: The Queens’ London. The book is based on an earlier title, published to mark Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 (The Queen’s London: A Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Great Metropolis). The authors have cleverly updated this 19th century publication with new images and text, resulting in an interesting comparative study between the reigns of our two longest-serving Queens.
Focussing on beautifully-captured vintage photographs from the Victorian publication, the authors discuss London’s metropolis as it was, and compare it with the city as we know it today. The original images, placed alongside recent photographs taken from the same vantage points, provide an intriguing comparison between the two eras and a fascinating record of London’s changing skyline over the last century.
The Queens’ London is just the latest addition to an extensive collection of photographic books of London held at City of Westminster Archives Centre. The Centre also holds large collections of original photographs, including many from the 1890s, when Queen Victoria was celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.