In line with the Cunard tradition of commissioning appropriate sculpture or portraits for display on board each ship named by a member of the Royal Family, the company has commissioned an official portrait of The Queen for the new Queen Elizabeth, due to be named by Her Majesty next month.
This new official portrait will be unveiled by the artist today (Sept. 20) in a private event at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
The portrait, which shows The Queen in the Yellow Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, was painted by 31-year-old Lancashire-born Isobel Peachey.
She says: “At my interview with Cunard, I answered many questions about how I would approach an important commission – but it was only at the end of the interview that the subject was revealed as The Queen. This was both a shock and a marvellous surprise”.
Commenting on how the artist was chosen, Cunard’s president and managing director, Peter Shanks, says: “Apart from being impressed by the quality of Isobel’s work, which we originally saw on display in the National Portrait Gallery, we were keen to offer the commission to a young artist. It is a truly wonderful picture of Her Majesty. It is even more remarkable when you consider that, lacking a private studio, she executed this magnificent painting in her mum’s attic!”
The portrait is a three-quarter length painting which shows The Queen dressed in blue and wearing Queen Victoria’s collet necklace and earrings, which she also wore for her Coronation in 1953.
The Queen will see the finished portrait for the first time on 11 October when she visits Southampton to name the new liner Queen Elizabeth. The portrait will be displayed in a prominent position in the ship’s Grand Lobby.
Cunard Line is a leading company providing ships for ocean travel.