Pret-a-Reporter

Queen Elizabeth II's Corgis Steal the Spotlight on Vanity Fair Cover

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Sorry Queen, but Holly, Willow, Vulcan and Candy are the real stars here.

All hail the summer issue of Vanity Fair, featuring Queen Elizabeth II as the cover star. In celebration of her 90th birthday, the beloved British monarch — grandmother to Princes William and Harry, and great-granny to wee Prince George and Princess Charlotte — posed for a series of portraits for celebrity shutterbug Annie Leibovitz, including two portraits exclusive to the mag. The issue hits stands nationally on June 7 (June 2 in New York and Los Angeles).

Members of the Royal Family, including her husband of 69 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and her daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal, joined the Queen for the intimate photo session at Windsor Castle. The Queen also appears in a photo surrounded by two of her grandchildren and her five great-grandchildren, including Prince George and his one-year-old sister, Princess Charlotte, perched on her lap.

"I was told how relaxed she was at Windsor, and it was really true," said Leibovitz in a statement on Vanity Fair's website. "You get the sense of how at peace she was with herself, and very much enthralled with her family." Leibovitz also photographed the monarch for a series of official portraits in 2007, when she famously asked the Queen to remove her tiara to look "less dressy."

Ultimately it was the Queen's pack of corgis (Holly, Willow, Vulcan and Candy) that landed on the cover alongside the monarch, who has owned the breed since 1949 and has bred them for 14 generations (Vulcan and Candy are officially "dorgis," a cross between a corgi and a dachshund). The cover story also includes an in-depth look at the pups, as well as insight from royal biographer William Shawcross.

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