Photographer who took last pictures of the Queen says she was in ‘good spirits’

Queen Elizabeth in the drawing room of Balmoral Castle before meeting Liz Truss. Credit: PA/Jane Barlow

The Queen was “frail” but in “good spirits” when photographer Jane Barlow took the last public pictures of her.

The Press Association news agency photographer had been dispatched to Balmoral to capture the moment when the monarch met the new prime minister, formally appointing Liz Truss to her new role.

While waiting for the Conservative leader to arrive at the Queen’s Highland retreat, Ms Barlow took some portraits.

She said she and the monarch made small talk about the weather, with dark skies and heavy rain overhead for much of the day.

But Barlow, who has been a staff photographer with the PA news agency in Scotland for six years, said of the Queen: “I got a lot of smiles from her.”

The Queen met new Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral on Tuesday Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

Ms Truss was then formally announced and came into the room where the Queen was waiting, “and she greeted her with a big smile”.

As the Queen and the new PM began their conversation, Ms Barlow was ushered out.

But she said since then “I’ve had so many lovely comments about the picture.”

PA photographer Jane Barlow Credit: Lesley Martin/PA

She added: “It’s a real privilege to be able to take that picture, an honour and a privilege. It’s like that for a lot of our job.

“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.”

Speaking about the Queen, she said: “She certainly did look more frail than when I photographed her in the summer.

“When she came up for Holyrood Week at the time they were telling me she would do one, perhaps two engagements, but she did quite a lot that week.”

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Ms Barlow photographed the Queen several times in her final week.

She took pictures of the monarch during her audiences with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Holyrood Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.

The Queen took part in a number of official engagements, which Ms Barlow documented.

They included the Ceremony of the Keys, which marks the start of the week of royal engagements north of the border, and the Reddendo Parade, involving the Royal Company of Archers - the monarch’s ceremonial body guard in Scotland.