The Queen Attends Virtual Unveiling Of Her Royal Portrait, Completed In Lockdown
By Mikelle Leow, 29 Jul 2020
Image via The Royal Family
In a historical first, Queen Elizabeth II had her royal portrait unveiled to her via video call on Saturday, allowing the world to revel in her endearing reactions to the work.
The British royal was shown the painting while seated in front of her computer screen in Windsor Castle, where she is presently quarantining with Prince Philip. The fresh new art was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to Spanish esteemed portrait painter Miriam Escofet, who clinched the prestigious BP Portrait Award in 2018.
The painting shows the Queen in a blue dress and seated on a golden chair. An elegant teacup is depicted next to her, which the artist explained has a hidden FCO mark via their virtual conversation.
The FCO commissioned the piece as a “tribute to Her Majesty’s contribution to British Diplomacy,” seeing as how she has visited over 100 countries as queen. Harper’s Bazaar reports that this is the first royal portrait reveal done virtually in history.
An evidently pleased Queen Elizabeth commended, “I hope I’ll see it in real life one day.”
Escofet later explained to The Guardian that she wanted the portrait to capture “Her Majesty’s humanity, her radiance and her warmth.”
The painter had the Queen pose for her in two sittings in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and then spent seven months finishing the work. Some of it was painted in quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“She’s a very experienced sitter…” the artist recalled. “She’s very present in the room and focused on the job in hand. She has a sense of humor there bubbling under the surface. She was very down to earth…” she added. However, the royal remained “diplomatic” when Escofet tried to find out if she had a favorite experience with her past portraits.
Escofet also reflected on the monarch’s response to the art, and said she “seemed to react very positively to it.” The Queen even cracked a joke, humorously griping, “But there’s no tea in the cup.”
🖼 During the call, The Queen also took part in the unveiling of a new portrait of Her Majesty, commissioned by the @foreignoffice.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 25, 2020
Unveiled at the start of the call, the portrait pays tribute to Her Majesty’s contribution to British diplomacy. pic.twitter.com/weDRGthkiU
[via Insider, video and images via The Royal Family]
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