July 25, 2020 / 9:01 PM / 11 days ago

Queen Elizabeth sees new portrait unveiled at Britain's Foreign Office

A view of the portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth by artist Miriam Escofet of at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, Britain in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on July 25, 2020. Crown Copyright/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. NO SALES. THE PHOTOGRAPH MUST NOT BE DIGITALLY ENHANCED, MANIPULATED OR MODIFIED IN ANY MANNER OR FORM AND MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH WHEN PUBLISHED. NO NEW USES AFTER DECEMBER 31, 2020 23:59

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Foreign Office has unveiled a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth by the artist Miriam Escofet, which the queen viewed online on Friday during a meeting to thank staff for their work helping travellers affected by coronavirus restrictions.

The portrait depicts Elizabeth wearing a blue knee-length dress, pearls and low-heeled black shoes, seated on a chair covered in gold leaf in an ornately furnished room, with a tea cup and a vase of mauve roses on the table beside her.

On the wall behind the queen is the bottom of a much older portrait, of which only a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the lower part of a lady’s white frilly dress is visible.

“I’m glad I’ve had the chance to see it. I hope I’ll see it in real life one day,” Queen Elizabeth said after watching the portrait be unveiled via video conference.

The 94-year-old monarch also thanked foreign ministry staff for their efforts to repatriate British nationals who struggled to return home due to coronavirus restrictions, and also heard about international efforts to develop a vaccine.

“Her Majesty the Queen is our best diplomat,” Simon McDonald, head of Britain’s diplomatic service, said.

The queen sat twice for the portrait by Escofet, who was born in Barcelona but has spent most of her life in the United Kingdom, and won Britain’s most prestigious prize for portraiture in 2018.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Christina Fincher

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