The Queen in PAINTINGS: Best portraits and where to see them
Many of those paintings have been met with mixed reception but some capture Britain’s longest reigning monarch outstandingly. Not all of Her Majesty’s official portraits are available for public viewing but some of the best – and most notable – are. From paintings of Princess Elizabeth before she became monarch to the grandest portrayals of the Queen as she approaches her 93rd birthday, these are a list of the nation’s favourite portraits of the Queen and where you can see them for yourself.
Savely Sorine, 1948, Queen’s Gallery
The earliest portrait on this list shows the Queen before she became monarch.
Painted in 1948, five years before her coronation, the portrait shows a young Princess Elizabeth.
It is painted in the typical early 20th century style of Savely Sorine who also painted a similar portrait of the Queen Mother in 1923.
The Belarusian-born painter travelled the world and painted many notable people including Maxim Gorky and Anna Pavlova, the ballet dancer which the dessert is named after.
The painting is usually unavailable to the public as it is on permanent display in Clarence House.
However it forms party of a special exhibition called Russia: Royalty & The Romanovs at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace which runs until April 28.
The Queen has sat for more than 130 portraits over her lifetime (Image: GETTY)
Savely Sorine’s 1948 painting of Princess Elizabeth before she became Queen (Image: All Rights Reserved / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018)
Michael Leonard, 1985-6, National Portrait Gallery
This personal portrait of the Queen shows Her Majesty indulging one of her most favourite passions, her dogs.
The Queen is famous for her fondness of corgis and sadly her last one died earlier this year.
This 1986 painting shows the Queen sat on an ornate sofa cuddling Spark, one of her beloved corgis.
It reflects the Queen at her most relaxed, not only is she with her pet but the portrait was painted in the Yellow Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace which is one of her most favourite rooms of all her royal residences.
This relaxed portrait of the Queen by Michael Leonard shows her relaxing with a corgi (Image: National Portrait Gallery)
Pietro Annigoni, 1955, Fishmonger’s Hall
Italian painter Pietro Annigoni made his name painting several portraits of the Queen.
Arguably his best work was the 1955 painting titled Queen Regent.
It shows the 28-year-old Queen wearing the robes of the Order of the Gater and when it was first displayed was so popular that it was said to have drawn crowds ten people deep.
In 1972, The Times reported that it was dismissed by art critics but loved by both the public and the Queen herself.
It is kept at Fishmonger’s Hall in the City of London and is not on regular public display but it often loaned out to exhibitions.
Pietro Annigoni’s painting of the young Queen just two years after she was crowned (Image: GETTY)
Ralph Heimas, 2013, Westminster Abbey
This poignant portrait of the Queen shows the monarch standing deep in thought near the altar at Westminster Abbey at the exact point she was crowned 60 years earlier.
It is title The Coronation Theatre and displays the Queen wearing white ceremonial dress and the same regal red and gold robe she wore at her coronation.
Having been unveiled in London it was sent to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra before returning to Britain.
It went on display in Westminster Abbey in May 2013 but was attacked the following June and had to undergo restoration after being sprayed in paint by a Fathers for Justice campaigner.
It was put back on public display a month later and can now be viewed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey
Ralph Heimans regal portrait of the Queen was painted to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation (Image: Dean and Chapter of Westminster)
This portrait of the Queen by Nicola Jane Philipps is the most recent painting of the Queen (Image: EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Nicola Jane Philipps, 2018, Palace of Holyroodhouse
The most recent official painting of the Queen was unveiled in November and show the Queen in ceremonial robes and collar of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest order of chivalry.
The life-size, full-length portrait shows the Queen stood before Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh.
Speaking about the painting, Nicky Philipps said: “It’s nerve wracking, but it is enormous fun and it’s a fantastic honour to be asked to do it.”
Ms Philipps is a renowned royal portraitist having first painted the Queen in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
In 2010, she painted a relaxed portrait of Prince William and Prince Harry in casual conversation while dressed in their military uniforms.
Nicky Philipps’s new oil painting of the Queen can be viewed at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the centre of Edinburgh.