The queen has marked another first during her reign – her first-ever virtual portrait unveiling.
The 94-year-old monarch saw the painting via her computer screen, before speaking to the staff of the UK’s Foreign And Commonwealth Office (FCO), which commissioned the piece.
The artwork, which was done by 2018 BP Portrait Award winner, Miriam Escofet and will reside at the FCO, shows Her Majesty sitting in a golden chair inside the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle wearing a blue dress and pearl jewellery.
“I’m glad I’ve had the chance to see it,” Queen Elizabeth quipped during a video call. “I hope I’ll see it in real life one day.”
“Her Majesty the queen is our best diplomat. This beautiful new portrait is a tribute to her lifetime of service and we’re glad our many visitors will see it for years to come,” said Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service at the FCO.
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?? The Queen paid a virtual visit to the @ukforeignoffice this week to hear about their COVID-19 response and take part in the virtual unveiling of a new portrait of Her Majesty. . The Queen praised the work of @ukforeignoffice staff for their role in: . ?? Helping British travellers to return home as part of the UK’s largest-ever peacetime repatriation . ??? Securing the delivery of over 16m items of Personal Protective Equipment from overseas, distributed to key workers fighting the virus on the frontline . ??? Working with other countries to develop a vaccine . ?? ?? ?? The new portrait of Her Majesty - unveiled at the start of the call - was commissioned by the @ukforeignoffice and pays tribute to The Queen’s contribution to British diplomacy, having visited over 100 countries throughout her reign. . To watch the full video, visit The Royal Family’s YouTube channel (link in bio).
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The queen also praised the staff for their “incredible good work” during the pandemic. “I’m very impressed,” she quipped.
Escofet, who hails from Spain, says she was allowed two sittings with the queen – one at Windsor Castle and the other at Buckingham Palace.
“She seemed to react very positively to it,” she said after the unveiling. “She was smiling, asking how long it took and if I had any more projects on the go after this.”
The queen also proved she’s still as sharp-eyed as ever. “When I explained certain elements of the painting, the insignia of the FCO on the teacup, she made some amusing comments. She said, ‘But there’s no tea in the cup’,” Escofet adds.
Watch the video below:
Sources: people.com, thenational.ae