Buckingham Palace release unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II ahead of funeral

The photo was taken in May before the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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An unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II smiling with joy has been released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of her funeral.

The photo which was taken in May ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, shows the monarch beaming brightly at the camera in her Windsor Castle home.

In a televised tribute to her mother-in-law on Sunday evening, the Queen Consort recalled the Queen’s “wonderful blue eyes” and said: “I will always remember her smile.”

The Queen, who is dressed in a dusky dove blue dress with her hair curled, is wearing her favourite three-strand pearl necklace, pearl earrings and her aquamarine and diamond clip brooches which were an 18th birthday present from her father George VI in 1944.

An unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II smiling with joy has been released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of her funeral.
An unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II smiling with joy has been released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of her funeral.

The two art deco-style pieces, worn one below the other, were made by Boucheron from baguette, oval and round diamonds and aquamarines.

The Queen wore the brooches when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020 and for her Diamond Jubilee televised speech in 2012.

The image was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who also took the jubilee portrait of the Queen released to mark the start of national festivities of her milestone 70-year reign.

The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee with the nation three months before she died.

Earlier, Queen Consort Camilla shared her fond memories of Queen Elizabeth II in a touching tribute.

She described Queen Elizabeth II’s “wonderful blue eyes”, adding: “When she smiles, you know, they light up her whole face. I’ll always remember that smile, you know, that smile is unforgettable.”

Camilla also spoke about how Queen Elizabeth II carved out her own role for many years in the “difficult position” of being a “solitary woman” in a male-dominated world.

She added : “I can’t remember anyone except the Queen being there.”