I recently reported that Royal Mail had revealed six of the best painted portraits from the Queen’s sixty-year reign as part of its new ‘Six Decades of Royal Portraits’ issue. A fitting tribute to the Queen as patron of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, sixty years after her Coronation.
The six included an early 1953 Coronation portrait plus the first one ever commissioned by Royal Mail. But which one gets your royal seal of approval? Here’s a brief reminder of all the contenders:
The Italian job – still the most iconic portrait of her reign? Fifty-seven years on, Pietro Annigoni’s portrayal continues to court controversy.
Chelsea pensioners’ portrait – Andrew Festing’s 1999 portrait, painted for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the famous pensioners, where it still hangs today.
The first forty years – displayed at the National Portrait Gallery from 1992, Richard Stone’s portrait now hangs in the more modest setting of Colchester town hall.
The Royal Mail world-exclusive – painted over three sittings by Nicky Philipps at Buckingham Palace at the end of her Diamond Jubilee year, 2012.