The Scottish National Portrait Gallery unveiled a portrait of The Queen on Tuesday. The photograph, taken by prominent Scottish photographer Harry Benson CBE shows Her Majesty in the private study at Buckingham Palace where she conducts her weekly with the Prime Minister.
In the photograph, Her Majesty is wearing a gold and diamond brooch featuring thistles, Scotland’s national emblem.
Born in Glasgow, Harry Benson started his career on Fleet Street at the Daily Sketch and the Daily Express, He has been a photographer for LIFE magazine and Vanity Fair. Mr Benson has photographed everyone from The Beatles to every United States President since Dwight Eisenhower.
On the commission, Mr Benson said, “to have been asked by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to photograph Her Majesty The Queen for an official portrait is truly a highlight of my career.
“I first photographed Her Majesty in Scotland opening a coal mine in 1957, and thereafter visiting towns in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Western Highlands, and later in London at the opening of Parliament … It was always an honour and a privilege, but the most memorable was when I had the opportunity to take an official portrait in Buckingham Palace for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.”
The Queen’s portrait is the most replicated of any person in history, adorning stamps, banknotes and coins not just in the UK but in 15 other countries in the world too.
“I was given the opportunity of selecting the colour and dress that The Queen would wear for the portrait. My teachers at the Eastwood School in Glasgow would be amazed,” Mr Benson concluded.
The Queen is currently residing in Scotland for the traditional Holyrood Week where she performs a week of engagements with a Scottish theme whilst in residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. On Thursday, Her Majesty will be joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and other royals in Edinburgh for the Order of the Thistle service, held every two years. The Queen’s week will conclude on Friday with the naming of the HMS Queen Elizabeth in Fife.
Her Majesty’s latest portrait will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Scotland for visitors to view.
“We are delighted with this new portrait, which is the first the Scottish National Portrait Gallery has commissioned of The Queen,” Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented.
Photo courtesy of Harry Benson – © Harry Benson Ltd