Throughout her lifetime the Queen has sat for hundreds of portraits – both paintings and photographs. They document her rein as queen as well as her undying regal air. These portraits mark significant times within her life as well as the history of the nation. In the year of her Diamond Jubilee we look back at the timeless face of the Queen.
Reportedly the Queen rather enjoys sitting for portraits – though she only allows 6 hours for it every year. From the beginning of the process she has final say over everything starting with who will be painting or photographing her. She has a team of people to assist in finding the ideal backdrop, jewelry, and wardrobe for the occasion.
The Queen has said, “The only bad part of these sessions is inadvertently catching a glimpse of the work in progress and watching oneself age.”
Though she may have aged over time her poise remains unwavering.
In 1943, at the age of 17 the Queen was photographed by Yousuf Karsh
The Queen’s coronation photograph
1956 Portrait by Pietro Annigoni
2007 photograph by Annie Leibovitz
Reportedly Leibovits only got 30 minutes to photograph the Queen
2007 Chris Levine’s portrait
The Queen is perhaps the most well known female on the planet and therefore has been the inspiration within several artworks.
Andy Warhol’s 1985 Reigning Queen’s: Queen Elezabeth II
Gilbert and George 1981 Elizabeth and Philip Potent
Jamie Reid’s 1977 cover of the Sex Pistols’ album God Save the Queen
In The Post & On The Money
Perhaps the easiest way to see a portrait of the Queen would be to simply pick up a letter. Her Royal Majesty the Queen travels with every piece of mail within the country and globally ensuring that her face is one that is truly recognized worldwide.
Even simpler in fact would be to reach into your pocket and pull out a coin where the Queen’s profile adorns each copper and silver piece of change.