As the world begins its final farewells to Queen Elizabeth II today, the royal family have released a final portrait of the late monarch. Previously unseen, it was taken earlier this year, by photographer Ranald Mackechnie to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee.
The image shows the Queen in a powder blue dress and is a fitting final portrait of Her Majesty, replete with so many of the hallmarks of her public image. She is seen with her trademark three-string pearls, pearl earrings and, as ever, a specifically chosen brooch from her extensive collection, loaded with sentiment. The brooch in question was a gift from the late King George VI, Elizabeth's beloved father, to mark her 18th birthday.
It also shows the monarch smiling; a smile which has been much commented upon and fondly remembered these last few days, by dignitaries, politicians and family members alike.
Alongside the image, the Royal Family today also revealed two new moving tribute videos to Her Majesty on their social media platforms. The first, a montage, depicted the key moments from the Queen's life – from her happy childhood and enlistment during WWII to her wedding to Prince Philip and coronation as monarch. It was followed, this morning, by a video of Queen Elizabeth's 1953 coronation, set to the voice of Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reading 'Queenhood' – the poem he composed to mark the Platinum Jubilee in June this year.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at 11am today, at Westminster Abbey. Following which, her coffin will be taken to Windsor, where a private, family ceremony will take place at St George's Chapel. The Queen will be buried this evening, alongside her late husband Prince Philip.
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