New Queen portrait on display

The only official portrait of the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year is on display at Westminster Abbey from today.

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Portrait bought by Westminster Abbey

The artist is Australian born Ralph Heimans Credit: ITN/Ralph Heimans

Ralph Heimans' portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, depicted standing on the Cosmati pavement in Westminster Abbey, will go on public display for the first time in London as part of the Abbey's celebrations for the 60th anniversary of her coronation.

Artist Ralph Heimans posing in front of his piece Credit: ITN

In a rare act of acquisition, Westminster Abbey has acquired the painting: The Coronation Theatre: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Australian-born London-based artist.

The Queen is depicted in an imagined moment of solitary reflection Credit: ITN/Ralph Heimans

The painting was the only official portrait of The Queen unveiled during the Diamond Jubilee Year and has to date only be shown at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

It will be on display from 2pm today until Friday 27th September.

The ambitious and large-scale, 9 x 11ft, painting depicts The Queen in a unique and highly symbolic setting - the Sacrarium of Westminster Abbey, sometimes described as The Coronation Theatre.

It is an imagined scene set at night in Westminster Abbey showing The Queen in a moment of solitary reflection, standing on an exceptional representation of the intricate mosaic patterns of the 13th century Cosmati pavement.

The Queen is pictured wearing State Dress, including the crimson velvet Robe of State, which she wore to Her Coronation on 2nd June 1953.

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