Royal Family shares unseen photo of the Queen ahead of funeral

The Royal Family has released a previously unseen photo of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to mark her funeral.

The portrait – captured by photographer Ranald Mackechnie – was taken in May before the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It was snapped at Windsor Castle and shows her looking happy and relaxed, dressed in flattering shade of light blue.

The Queen passed away at her Scottish home, Balmoral, on September 8. She was aged 96 and had spent 70 years on the throne, longer than any other reigning British monarch.

The Royal Family shared the radiant image on its official Instagram account last night, with the caption: 'Ahead of Her Majesty The Queen’s Funeral, a new photograph has been released. It was taken this year to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, as she became the first British Monarch to reach this milestone. Tomorrow, millions will come together to commemorate her remarkable life.'

Royal fans flocked to the comments section to share their condolences and adoration for the newly-released image. 'This is a beautiful portrait', one person wrote with a love-heart emoji, as a second fan put: 'So pretty until the end'.

'The Queen of smiles', a third follower added, as another chimed into the conversation with: 'Rest in peace Your Majesty'.

Today's funeral will be attended by dignitaries and Royals from across the world, as well as Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The mourners will have to follow a strict dress code, but it is believed the Queen will be buried in something simple, and her treasured wedding ring.

Shortly after the Queen's passing, the photographer who took the last known photo of Her Majesty opened up about what it was like to photograph her with Liz Truss, the fifteenth Prime Minister she had seen in her reign.

Jane Barlow told Sky News: 'I got a lot of smiles from her. I was there to photograph her meeting the new Prime Minister but for me the best picture was the one of the Queen on her own. And it has obviously become more significant now.'

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