Queen portrait unveiling 171018
Royals

Queen Unveils Regal New Portrait At Royal Air Force Club

The painting shows Her Majesty at Windsor Castle smiling, with one of her trademark black handbags on the floor.

Queen portrait unveiling 171018

The Queen has unveiled a new portrait of herself on a visit to the RAF Club in its centenary year.

The painting by artist Ben Sullivan, shows the 92-year-old monarch at home in Windsor Castle smiling, one hand resting on the other with one of her trademark black handbags on the floor.

Speaking after the unveiling, Sullivan commented:

"I was saying it was quite cold when we did it because it was the end of February and she said, 'it doesn't look like I'm cold' so I think by then we had some extra heaters brought up.

"I think the idea was to capture something of the role of the monarch, but one tries to get behind that to the person.

"And I really like the idea her handbag was placed in front of the gilt chair. It was almost happenstance that it was placed there but it gives some idea there's actually a person as well as a figurehead - it's personal.

"It's where she put it, and I thought I could take it out, but then I thought - actually it's quite a nice thing, a personal thing."

The RAF Club was founded in October 1918 after Lord Cowdray gifted members of the newly formed air service a permanent building to socialise in.

Four years later in February 1922 the Club was officially opened by the Queen’s father, then the Duke of York, and Her Majesty currently serves as the organisation’s Patron.

The Queen also opened a new wing at the club and inspected a new stained glass window which commemorates the role that women have played in the RAF's history.

The stained glass window's designer, Helen Whittaker, asked the Queen about her own experiences as a woman in uniform:

"It felt like she was thinking back, she did a wry smile - a little grin."

Before departing, the Queen also met a fellow veteran of the Second World War, 101-year-old Jack Lyon, a former RAF Flight Lieutenant who flew Whitley bombers.