Happy and Glorious

Unseen Queen: Intimate Photos From HM's 60 Year Reign

What to give the Royalist who has everything for Christmas this year?

Well, hint hint, how about this doorstepping Taschen book, “Her Majesty”, which weighs in at a truly regal 11.7 pounds?

The book features formal studies taken by famous photographers alongside others snapped by bystanders.

In one shot the monarch is pictured meeting a line-up of stars, including Marilyn Monroe, at a film premiere in Leicester Square in 1956.

The images include photographs of state visits and meetings with dignitaries as well as unguarded personal moments such as the Queen driving through Windsor in her Daimler in 1957, with Prince Charles in the passenger seat and Princess Anne in the back of the car.

Some previously unseen shots, unearthed by the book's editor Reuel Golden, are among those featured.

Previously unseen shots – such as one of the royal couple waving goodbye from the steps of a jet returning from a tour of the West Indies in 1966 – were discovered by Golden. The West Indies image, taken by Glaswegian royal photographer Harry Benson, was found undeveloped in a roll of archived film.

The book, from luxury publisher Taschen, is aimed at an international as well as British market, and features the work of Sir Cecil Beaton, Yousuf Karsh and Lords Snowdon and Lichfield, alongside more contemporary photographs from Wolfgang Tillmans, Rankin and Annie Leibovitz.As editor, Golden had access to many European photography archives, including the Royal Collection, and has included images of the Queen meeting leading figures of the 20th century, including the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy. One of the most charming images shows the Queen driving through Windsor in her Daimler in 1957, with Prince Charles and Princess Anne in the car.

Golden, a former editor of the British Journal of Photography, told the UK Observer: "While some of the images will be familiar, we have also unearthed many hidden gems."