- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 12, 2007

Royal retreat

Queen Elizabeth II had a row with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who suggested Her Majesty remove her crown for a portrait earlier this year, according to an upcoming BBC documentary, “A Year With The Queen.”

In March, ahead of a state visit to the United States, the British monarch sat for four portraits by Miss Leibovitz, famous for taking nude photos of actress Demi Moore when she was pregnant.

Miss Leibovitz suggested that the queen, who was also wearing ceremonial robes, remove her crown for the shoot, but Elizabeth was not amused.

“I think it will look better without the crown because the garter robe is so …,” Miss Leibovitz said, before the queen interrupted her.

“Less dressy? What do you think this is?” the monarch hit back, pointing at what she was wearing and giving her an icy stare.

The queen then walked off, with an official carrying the large train of her blue velvet cape, and telling another: “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.”

The documentary will air in September or October.

Design honors

First lady Laura Bush will lunch with the winners and finalists of this year’s National Design Awards at the White House on Wednesday. The annual honors, first awarded in 2000, recognize top talents in the fields of architecture and interior, graphic, product and fashion design. This year’s nominations were selected by more than 800 experts from around the country and reviewed by judges selected by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

Invited to join Mrs. Bush is Albuquerque, N.M., architect Antoine Predock, winner of this year’s lifetime achievement award for such buildings as the San Diego Padres’ Petco Park and the city hall in Austin, Texas. Other nominees include Jonathan Ive of Apple, mastermind of the IPod and the IPhone, and fashion designer Rick Owens, whose clothes are worn by Madonna.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee and Deborah Dietsch from staff and wire reports