Queen Elizabeth's Brand-New Portrait: See It Here!
At 89, Queen Elizabeth is still very much a working royal – a fact that is the focus of her newest official portrait.
“Having grown up during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, it was a thrill to meet her and a very great privilege to take her photo on this historic occasion,” McCartney, who crossed royal paths with Princess Kate during a photography exhibit in 2012, said in a statement to PEOPLE. “She is a truly inspirational person, a trailblazer and a beacon for womankind.”
On Wednesday, the Queen will break the record of 63 years and seven months set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
The new portrait was taken in July at Buckingham Palace in London before the Queen left for her annual summer holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
The monarch, who is wearing a floral print dress by Karl Ludwig Rehse, MVO (she previously wore it during a 2011 tour of Australia), is shown seated at her desk with one of her famous “red boxes” – a key component of a remarkably unchanging daily routine that also includes a breakfast of cornflakes with her husband of 68 years, Prince Philip.
Most days, apart from Christmas and Easter, she receives the boxes, which contain important papers from government ministers in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. They are widely used across government and carry the Royal cypher.
But only Elizabeth’s is embossed with the words “The Queen” – and she still uses the ones “that were made for her upon her Coronation,” Buckingham Palace says.
Royal Flashback: Queen Elizabeth II’s Record-Breaking Reign
Made by Barrow and Gale Ltd, they have periodically been refurbished to keep them in good condition.
The portrait was released on the eve of the Queen’s milestone day, which she will mark in subtle tribute to her forebear, Victoria.
“She doesn’t want a fuss made at all,” the monarch’s cousin Margaret Rhodes told PEOPLE of the milestone. “She would regard it as inconsiderable. She wouldn’t spend much attention to it.”
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