1973 Photo Contest, People in the News, Stories, 1st prize

Horst Ossinger

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

01 February, 1972

Queen Elizabeth II is distracted while watching a parade of elephants during her state visit to Thailand. In a letter to World Press Photo, Horst Ossinger told World Press Photo how he made this picture: 'The official photo-session had already finished an I was quickly taking, what I thought would be my last shot on this particular session, when I discovered a peculiar look on the Queen's face. I was using a Leicaflex with 180 mm lens at the time and starter [sic] the motor of the camera.' When Ossinger was awarded in the 1973 contest, Time magazine wrote in its People section: 'In each successive frame the royal expression got curiouser and curiouser. With her camera resting on her lap in the best tourist manner, Queen Elizabeth was cheerfully taking tea and watching a parade elf elephants while on her tour of Thailand last year. Suddenly, in a series of baffling photographs just published in London, Elizabeth registered first dismay, then pain, then a rictus of what looked like sheer agony. Was it tea? A tack on the chair? Back trouble? Horst Ossinger, the German photographer who caught the moment with a telephoto lens, and won the Holland World Press Photo Contest prize for it, doesn't know. And the Queen isn't telling.'


Horst Ossinger

Technical information

Focal length
180 mm
2.8 f

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