(CNN) — A new exhibition opening tomorrow at London’s Kensington Palace will feature a portrait of Princess Diana that has never been seen by the public.
The image, taken by fashion photographer David Bailey in 1988, was originally commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery but has remained in Bailey’s archive until now. The backless black-and-white image shows an elegant 27-year-old Diana looking into the distance, wearing an off-the-shoulder satin dress and a pair of teardrop earrings.
Bailey, who has photographed a number of cultural icons including Andy Warhol, Twiggy and The Beatles, was selected by Diana for his high-contrast lighting and minimalist style. Her choice “reflected her desire to establish a new photographic identity for herself,” distinct from more established forms of royal portraiture, according to a press release from Historic Royal Palaces, the British charity charged with managing six of the Kingdom’s palaces. United.
Revealed now after 34 years, the image further solidifies his public reputation as one of the most fashion-forward members of the British royal family.
The photo reveal comes at a time when pop culture is particularly enthralled by the “people’s princess,” who died at the age of 37 in 1997. In 2021, Emma Corrin won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the Princess of Wales in the Netflix series “The Crown,” while Broadway presented “Diana: The Musical.” This year, Kirsten Stewart was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Diana in Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer.”
The remainder of the exhibition, titled “A Life Through a Royal Lens,” will showcase a variety of works exploring the relationship between photography and the monarchy. It includes photos taken on royal tours and iconic portraits of heads of state, as well as moments away from the public eye. Also being shown for the first time is a selection of images taken by members of the royal family themselves.
“The medium (of photography) has shaped how the world views the British monarchy,” Claudia Acott Williams, curator of Historic Royal Palaces, said in a press release. “It has enabled the royal family to offer fascinating insights into his life and work, transforming the royal image and creating an unprecedented relationship between crown and subjects.”
Top Image: The David Bailey portrait hanging at Kensington Palace, courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces.