Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Queen (magazine)

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Founder  Samuel Beeton
Year founded  1861

Queen (originally The Queen) magazine was a British society publication established by Samuel Beeton in 1861. In 1958, the magazine was sold to Jocelyn Stevens, who dropped the prefix "The" and used it as his vehicle to represent the younger side of the British Establishment, sometimes referred to as the "Chelsea Set" under the editorial direction of Beatrix Miller. In 1964 the magazine gave birth to Radio Caroline, the first daytime commercial pirate radio station serving London, England. Stevens sold Queen in 1968. From 1970 the new publication became known as Harper's & Queen until the name Queen was dropped from the masthead. It is now known as Harper's Bazaar.


Queen focused on British "high society" and the lives of socialites and the British aristocracy from 1862 onwards. In the late 1950s under the editorship of Beatrix Miller it was restyled to serve a younger hip readership that was defined by Miller in a style-sheet. According to Clement Freud, who wrote for the magazine, Beatrix Miller's targeted reader had long hair, was named "Caroline", had left school at age 16, was not an intellectual, but she was the sort of person that one ended up in bed with.

When London became the focus of the Swinging 60s Jocelyn Stevens embraced designers including Mary Quant and embarked upon a project to reverse the U.K. Pilkington Report that denied any demand for commercial radio in Britain. Stevens helped to finance a pirate radio ship project that was also named Caroline with the initial intention of extending the targeted reader as the targeted listener. When Radio Caroline first went on the air (from a ship that was also renamed Caroline), it operated from the editorial offices of Queen.

The Beatrix Miller style sheet for Caroline was given to contributing writers to the magazine because it gave authors an idea of whom they were writing for. Miller left the magazine to edit Vogue shortly after Radio Caroline went on the air and although the station changed its format when its original plan to reverse the effect of the Pilkington Report failed, the station did not change its name. Originally the radio station sounded similar to the output of the BBC but with some commercial advertising. The magazine retired the Caroline style sheet under the direction of its new editor Jocelyn Stevens himself. When the radio station moved from the Queen magazine offices, a new explanation of how and why the name "Caroline" came to be used by the station was offered to the public in order to divert attention away from its original source. By that time there did not seem to be any chance that the station would get a license and that the Labour Government then in power would seek to close it down as a "pirate radio" operation. Queen was celebrated in this period for its society column, "Jennifer's Diary" (written by Betty Kenward), its astrologer, "Celeste", a variety of edgy writers and elaborate fashion photography, in particular David Bailey’s pictures of Twiggy. Elizabeth Smart, author of the prose-poetry classic, "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down & Wept" was Queen's books editor and columnist.

The history of the magazine and the history of the pirate radio station under the influence of Jocelyn Stevens more or less conclude with the passage of the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act in August 1967. The station which at that time broadcast from two ships, continued until early March 1968 without proper funding, when both vessels were towed away. In that same year Stevens decided to sell his to Michael Lewis of Oxley Industries, at the same time appointing Hugh Johnson as editor. The magazine changed from fortnightly to monthly publication and nearly doubled its circulation. By 1969 however, Oxley Industries had problems. Johnson resigned to write The World Atlas of Wine and Lewis sold Queen to Harper's Bazaar, who merged the titles, continuing to print it on Oxley presses.


Queen (magazine) Wikipedia