To commemorate the 60 years Her Majesty has served as Patron of the British Red Cross, the Queen has unveiled a new portrait by artist Henry Ward at Windsor Castle. The portrait, which was commissioned by the Red Cross has received mix reviews from art critics and from those on social media.
Art critic and writer, Sir Roy Strong told the Daily Mail that he was ‘stunned’ by the work.
He said: “I see what he’s trying to do – she is 90 after all, she’s not easy to paint,’ he said. ‘But he’s trying to do a grand state portrait and he hasn’t got the talent.
“I think this is a lost opportunity. It’s not fit to hang on the railings of Kensington Gardens.
‘The only thing they can really do is cut it down to just her head and shoulders so they can hang it somewhere less conspicuous. It’s the sort of thing you see drawn on the pavement and people put money down. It must have been dreadful for the Queen.”
However, Mike Adamson, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross said the purpose of the portrait is to “celebrate the strong relationship between the British Red Cross and the Royal Family and the history of our life-saving work.”
And indeed, there are references to this link between the Royal Family and the Red Cross seen in the portrait. The Queen is in the White Drawing Room at Windsor castle. dressed in her Garter Robes, behind her, is a bust of Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross.
Her Majesty is depicted wearing the Kokoshnik tiara which was originally worn by Queen Alexandra who served as President of the British Red cross Society in 1908 just after it was granted a Royal Charter.
Whether you agree with the critics or not, one matter that can’t be disputed is the Queen’s decades of dedication and service to the British Red Cross, a tradition started by Queen Victoria, it’s first patron.