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'Little Mia Tindall holding the Queen's handbag was the extra magic that comes with working with children'

Mirror Mirror 21/04/2016 By Kent Gavin

The Queen's 90th birthday portrait was revealed today as she was photographed surrounded by her grandchildren to mark the occasion.

This historic image, taken by Annie Leibovitz, captured the young royals' abundance of cheekiness and charms.

Mia Grace Tindall, daughter of Sophie and Mike, stole the show by clutching her granny's handbag close to her at the front of the frame .

And Princess Charlotte beamed as she sat on the monarch's knee, with cheeky Prince George stood close by .

Here, royal photographer Kent Gavin gives his verdict on the iconic image:

As a photographer, the composition is what gives a photograph impact.

It's a beautiful picture and as you may know to get a whole group to look through a lens is quite difficult.

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Of course, in this photograph not everyone is looking into the camera, James Viscount Severn isn't, but the rest are.

She probably had some assistants ringing bells or waving toys to get their attention.

You can see Princess Charlotte is looking straight into the camera and is smiling too, which is hard to do with such a young child.

It's a historical setting, the background is this beautiful gold gilt, a lovely background, but at the same time it doesn't detract from the expressions in the picture.

The Queen looks happy and relaxed, surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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She isn't difficult to photograph at all, she's been at it a long time and it rather used to having her picture taken.

Read more: Queen beams at thousands of well-wishers as she wears spring outfit to 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle

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She takes it in her stride, as with everything she does.

I never found it nerve-wracking to photograph the Queen but then I've been doing it for a long time and so has Annie.

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She's got a great eye for detail so I can imagine the Queen's and the children's clothing will have been discussed beforehand.

They will have met and talked about colours and clothes and what will fit in the image, I would assume.

Maybe Kate and William had a part to play in Charlotte and George's clothes, I don't know.

I think having little Mia hold the Queen's handbag was deliberate, definitely.

That's the Annie Leibovitz touch - that little extra something added in.

It's stunning, just lovely, and she looks adorable clutching it to herself.

The trick is to engage with the royals and to help them to relax - and not to take a long time in doing it.

Obviously this is harder with children, but I think those are the key aspects in photographing any royal.

I think the main reason the Queen wanted Annie was because she feels so comfortable around her.

And to be invited to take such a photographer is a huge honour.

It goes to show that the Queen and Annie must have got on well together when she last took her picture.

Read more: Photographer Annie Leibovitz talks about infamous photoshoot with the 'feisty' Queen

They obviously gel with one another and that's what makes it work. That's Annie's mark.

I don't know who's idea it was just to include the younger royals but it was a great one - it works.

It adds more to the picture as well, that extra magic that only comes with working with children.

You can see James has his hands in his pockets, Annie probably told him to do that to make him more relaxed.

It's another key factor in the image though and it draws your attention. I can't imagine the Queen would have encouraged him to slouch, mind you.

When it comes to technicalities, Annie has a lot of assistants so she will have had a lot of help in creating the image.

Read more: Queen's doodles when she was the same age as Prince George reveal she liked cats

There will be people doing the lighting, set up and everything else inbetween so actually taking the picture would have been relatively simple.

That doesn't mean it isn't an incredible picture though.

I would say the image is typical of Annie's style, but the content makes it that bit extra special. It's an incredible image and one which will go down in history.

Years from now, it will be used. Over and over again, people will look at it.

It's easy to see why it has everybody so captivated. It's stunning.

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