A be-baubled Marsha Hunt

Hair singer Marsh Hunt on the 1968 Christmas cover of Queen magazine

The Queen dated back to the pioneering days of Mr and Mrs Beaton as a society weekly, but was reinvented for the Swinging Sixties by Jocelyn Stevens, who bought the magazine for himself on inheriting a fortune at his 25th birthday. He later turned into a toothy Fleet Street management bully (hence his Private Eye nickname, Piranha Teeth).

The American model and singer Marsha Hunt is on this 1968 cover, complete with Christmas-tree-style decorations. Her breakthrough was in the West End production of the seminal rock musical Hair, in September that year. She brought the afro into fashion – just like it is now – with Justin De Villeneuve’s iconic silhouette photograph of Hunt used for the show’s publicity. That led to a nude picture taken by Patrick Lichfield for US Vogue and the be-baubled Queen cover. Hunt was the muse for Mick Jagger’s song ‘Brown Sugar’ and mother of his first child.

This is the penultimate of 12 Christmas covers in a magazine version of ye olde English counting song The Twelve Days of Christmas.

There was also a selection of covers for Christmas 2019.

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