Why the Newly Unveiled Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II Is So Significant

Jane Asher


Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Queen Elizabeth II has had over 150 official portraits commissioned throughout her lifetime, but her latest, unveiled today at Windsor Castle, the Queen's weekend home, has much more significance than the last 149 (or so) paintings in her likeness.

Last year, Queen Elizabeth became the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, and just this week, she again made the history books as the world's longest-reigning monarch, following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. This newly revealed portrait is the first one painted of the Queen since breaking the world record.


Credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty

In her latest portrait, the Queen is painted for the first time as the patron of the British Red Cross, a charity which she has actively supported over her 63 years as the reigning British Monarch, reports People. Canadian artist Henry Ward, painted the Queen in Garter robes, diamond earrings and a bracelet and tiara that belonged to Queen Alexandra, who played a significant role in getting the Red Cross it's royal charter by persuading her husband, King Edward VII, to present the charter to the charity in 1908. The bust in the right background is of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross.

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Some of the Queen's many other official portraits include her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including Princess Charlotte and Prince George, her children and husband, Prince Phillip, and of course, plenty of commissioned portraits with her beloved corgis.