LONDON — Buckingham Palace released an unseen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The image was taken at Windsor Castle before the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. She’s wearing a light powder blue dress with an aquamarine and diamond clip brooches, which was a present from her father King George VI for her 18th birthday in 1944.
“Blue has always been one of [the queen’s] favorite colors throughout her reign from when she was very young. It’s probably her most worn color,” said Bethan Holt, author of “The Queen: 70 Years of Majestic Style” and “The Duchess of Cambridge: A Decade of Modern Royal Style.”
She previously wore the brooches for television speeches — in 2012 for her Diamond Jubilee and in 2020 for the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
In the sitdown picture, the queen is wearing her signature three-strand pearl necklace.
Earlier this week, Catherine, Princess of Wales wore the queen’s favorite pearl necklace at a luncheon held for the Commonwealth nations at Buckingham Palace along with the queen’s diamond and pearl earrings.
Kate Middleton has been subtly nodding to the queen through her jewelry, an old mourning custom first introduced in the age of Queen Victoria. She wore them with her all-black outfits following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Pearls are thought to represent purity, but also tears.
Photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who captured the queen, smiling also shot her for her Platinum Jubilee portrait.
Camilla, Queen Consort paid tribute to the queen in an ITV broadcast, recalling her “wonderful blue eyes, that when she smiles they light up her whole face. I will always remember her smile. That smile is unforgettable.”
The queen’s granddaughters, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, the daughters of the Duke and Duchess of York, released a statement remembering the late monarch.
“We’ve not been able to put much into words since you left us all. We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly. You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories for ever,” their statement said.