Queen Elizabeth’s latest official portrait was unveiled on Tuesday to celebrate 90 years of the Royal British Legion. While most of the monarch’s official paintings just show the monarch’s head and shoulders, or from the waist upwards, this realistic image has Queen Elizabeth sitting tidily on an antique chair, legs included.
The Queen is wearing a royal blue dress, black shoes, a pearl necklace and a brooch with red poppies, a nod to a symbol for fallen warriors that’s been in use since World War I. The Queen looks serene in the new oil painting, with light pouring through the window and red and gold highlighting the royal nature of this image.
Queen’s portrait artist Darren Baker also paints nudes
The artist was Darren Baker who, when he isn’t painting the Queen, likes to paint nudes and semi-nudes – albeit very tasteful ones with drapes in all the right places. He also charges up to£90,000 for a commission, a thousand pounds for each year of the Royal British Legion’s life. The artist is no novice, though: Mr. Baker has painted both Prince Charles and Tony Blair.
The Queen’s new portrait was unveiled at a Westminster Abbey service for 300 guests yesterday. The Queen is royal patron of the Royal British Legion and has been since 1953, but she wasn’t present. Princess Anne represented the Queen at the service.
Princess Anne represents the Queen at Royal British Legion anniversary service
Later, the Princess Royal was photographed talking to the 35-year-old artist about his work. He said that he was trying to “capture the grace of our wonderful monarch” while still incorporating the tradition of the Royal British Legion. The BBC reported that it took two one-hour sittings to get the painting down and that he took 400 hours to create it. The organization is reportedly delighted with its new painting.
The Royal British Legion, or just “The Legion,” is a charity that supports British service personnel. Their most famous campaign is the poppy campaign, but they also provide information, resources and year-round support to the British Armed Forces.
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Sources: The Daily Mail; BBC Gloucestershire; Canada.com; Royal British Legion
You can subscribe to this column or add the RSS feed for more British Royal Family stories; you can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. Linda Gentile is the British Royal Family Examiner and writes about royal portraits, Queen Elizabeth, and charities like the Royal British Legion.