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Queen unveils new portrait of herself

A new portrait of the Queen by internationally acclaimed Northern Irish artist Colin Davidson has been revealed by the Queen.

The large canvas which is 4ft by 5ft, shows the Queen wearing a turquoise Karl Ludwig dress, smiling. The painting was produced from a 90 minute sitting at Buckingham Palace in May and marks the work of a charity promoting the reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Co-Operation Ireland, which the Queen serves as a joint patron for, is a charity dedicated to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Much of the charities works focuses on bringing the two main communities in Northern Ireland together through education programmes in schools as well as numerous other programmes.

The guests attending the event in Chelsea London included Irish First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

Artist Davidson, who has painted figures such as Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt and the German chancellor Angela Merkel said that painting the Queen was a unique experience.

“Here’s someone who is perhaps the most famous face in the world and has been so for 63 years”

Davidson hopes that the painting “in some way acknowledges the actions she has taken to advance healing in the Anglo-Irish relationship”.

The Queen made a historic visit to Ireland in 2011, in which she was the first British monarch to stand on Irish soil since Ireland gained independence from Britain. The last monarch to visit was the 1911 tour by Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather King George V.  The Queen’s visit opened up a new chapter in Anglo-Irish relations. Colin Davidson says he feels the portrait is a “symbol” of the Queen’s role in the fostering of relationships between Britain and Ireland.

Mr McGuinness, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, said that “I think she’s made a tremendous contribution to support the whole process of peace and reconciliation”.