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Comment 29 SEPTEMBER 2012

A moment of reflection: A new portrait of the Queen is unveiled to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee

29 SEPTEMBER 2012

To mark her 60 glorious years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has been depicted standing on the exact spot where she was crowned in June 1953.

The image, which shows the Queen lost in thought in the Sacraium or Coronation Theatre in Westminster Abbey, has been created by Australian artist Ralph Heimans for her Diamond Jubilee.

 

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Measuring an impressive 9 ft by 11ft, the work stands in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and was unveiled for the first time on Friday by Quentin Bryce, Australia's Governor-General.

Entitled The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portraitof her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Ralph's portrait, which is a far cry from those which show monarchs as stern and imposing, has been many months in the making.

Having met with the Queen in the Yellow Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace on March 21, Ralph then set about creating the work he envisioned, set at night in the Abbey.

 

 



Depicted in a solitary moment of reflection in the sacred building where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married, the Queen stands on the recently restored Cosmati pavement which has been the site of every British leader's coronation since the 13th century.

London-based artist Ralph said: "I wanted to produce a work of particular significance for the Jubilee."

Adding: "I hope there is a degree of humanity uncommon in traditional Royal portraits. The Queen has an extraordinary aura and a real energy and presence."  
 
Since its unveiling in the Australian capital, the portrait, which features as part of a bigger display that celebrates the Jubilee, has receieved a host of positive reviews.

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