‘It was enormous fun’: Artist behind new portrait of the Queen opens up about painting Her Majesty – as her work takes pride of place in the Royal Dining Room at Holyrood House

‘It was enormous fun’: Artist behind new portrait of the Queen opens up about painting Her Majesty – as her work takes pride of place in the Royal Dining Room at Holyrood House

  • Artist Nicky Philipps painted the Queen, 92, wearing grand ceremonial robes and Order of the Thistle collar
  • The commissioned painting overlooks the grandiose table in the Royal Dining Room at Holyrood House
  • The scene depicts the Queen in front of a view of Salisbury Crags, a series of cliffs in nearby Holyrood Park
  • It’s thought the oil painting is based on a photograph of the Queen in similar robes taken by Annie Leibovitz 
  • The artist behind a new portrait of the Queen has said painting Her Majesty was a ‘nerve-wracking experience’ but ‘enormous fun’.

    Nicky Philipps’ oil painting of the 92-year-old monarch was commissioned to enhance visitor experience at Holyrood House and has already taken pride of place in the Scottish palace’s Royal Dining Room.

    The portrait is though to be based on an Annie Leibovitz photograph and shows the Queen in her grand ceremonial robes and collar of the Order of the Thistle. 

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    The new painting of the Queen by artist Nicky Philipps is thought to be based on a photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz and shows Her Majesty in her ceremonial gown, with a view of Salisbury Crags, a series of cliffs in nearby Holyrood Park in the background

    Philipps admit ted that her very regal commission was ‘nerve-wracking’ but called it ‘enormous fun’

    Bon appetite! The new oil painting has already been hung in the Royal Dining Room at Scottish residence Holyrood House

    The background to the image is a view of Salisbury Crags, a series of cliffs in nearby Holyrood Park, depicted with imposing, dramatic grey clouds on the skyline.

    Holyrood House in Edinburgh is the Queen’s official royal residence in Scotland, and the room is still used by the Windsors for private functions.

    Realist painter Philipps, who has painted the Queen before, as well as Princes William and Harry, said of the commission: ‘It’s nerve-wracking, but it is enormous fun.’ 

    Visitors to the palace will be able to see the portrait in the ornate dining room with its sage green walls and table dressed with candel abra.

    The picture hangs alongside a portrait of the Queen Mother, painted by Sir William Oliphant Hutchison in 1967, in which she wears the sash, badge and star of the Order of the Thistle, the highest order of chivalry in Scotland. 

    Side by side with the Queen Mother; Philipps’ work has been placed next to a portrait of the Queen Mother, painted by Sir William Oliphant Hutchison in 1967

    The royal artist, pictured with her paint palette, has painted Her Majesty before as well as Prince William and Prince Harry

    The portrait was commissioned by The Royal Collection Trust to help enhance the experience of visitors touring the palace

    In 2013, the artist painted the Queen for the first time for the first class stamp series celebrating the 60th anniversary of her Coronation. 

    Commissioned by Royal Mail, the ensuing portrait depicts HM The Queen in her robes of the Order of the Garter and sees her surrounded by her corgies. 

    The picture is now on display as part of the Royal Collection in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.

    Philipps captured a double portrait of Princes William and Harry, both in uniform, in 2009, which Prince Charles has said is one of his most prized possessions. The painting was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2010 to wide critical acclaim. 

    She has also painted Prince Charles’s friends, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland (owners of Alnwick Castle), actor Hugh Bonneville and author Ken Follett. 

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