Crown and Conflict | Imperial War Museum opens Platinum Jubilee exhibitions

Exhibitions open today across the Imperial War Museum, exploring the last 70 years of crown and conflict to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

Platinum Jubilee Imperial War Museum Queen

Exhibitions open today across the Imperial War Museum’s sites, exploring the last 70 years of crown and conflict to celebrate the the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.


Exhibitions will open at IWM London, IWM Duxford and IWM North. The London and Duxford displays will run from today, May 27, until January 8, 2023. The exhibition at IWM North will be on for the entirety of next month, ending June 30.

Much of the work on show was already part of IWM’s image archive. That collection is said to total some 11 million photos, “covering the cause, course and consequences of modern conflict from the First World War to present day.” 

Platinum Jubilee Imperial War Museum Queen

Platinum Jubilee Imperial War Museum Queen

Through these photos, the “relationship between crown and conflict will be explored” and “human stories will be brought to the foreground, providing a unique lens through which to join the national moment.” On top of the photographs, object trails and special projections of newly digitised film will provide visitors with a look at “the unique role of conflict in the life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.”

The main offering at IWM London is titled ‘Crown and Conflict: Portraits of a Queen in Wartime’ and features photographs detailing the Queen’s role during times of war. It starts with her experience growing up in Scotland during the Second World War and serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). It moves into photos of the Queen carrying out public duties involving the armed forces, as well as newly digitised photographs, one of which shows the Queen alongside her father, King George VI, and mother, Queen Elizabeth, during a visit to airborne forces in 1944. More contemporary photos will show the Queen carrying out official duties – meeting with members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Associations, and leading the annual Service of Remembrance. 

Platinum Jubilee Imperial War Museum Queen

Platinum Jubilee Imperial War Museum Queen 4

Another show at IWM London is ‘Royals in Wartime’ – “a dedicated trail of historic objects on display across five gallery spaces.” It will explore The Royal Family’s long-standing and intimate association with the British armed forces and its key role in times of war and conflict, from World War I to the war in Afghanistan.

Visitors to Duxford will get to see ‘The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Ready for Take-Off’ – a display allowing guests to get up-close with some of the world’s most famous aircrafts developed over the Queen’s reign. A large-scale projection of recently digitised film, comprised of images from IWM’s archive, will provide a visual backdrop to the permanent displays at Duxford.


All Images Courtesy of IWM Archive.

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