King Charles releases beloved portrait of the smiling Queen in poignant tribute to mark first anniversary of her death | The Sun
QUEEN Elizabeth II smiles serenely in a portrait beloved by the King — released by him today as a poignant tribute to mark the first anniversary of her passing.
The picture by photographer Cecil Beaton has not been shown publicly since 1969.
Today Charles, 74, will hail her “devoted service” and express “great affection” for her.
In an audio tribute, the King will say he is “deeply grateful” for the nation’s support to him and Queen Camilla over the past year.
Charles and Camilla, 76, chose to stay overnight at Balmoral Castle — where Queen Elizabeth passed away — rather than at their own Scottish home at Birkhall seven miles away.
They will spend time in the grand house with members of his family who have stayed in Scotland for a intimate day of quiet reflection.
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Sources say they will spend time thinking back on the late monarch’s last moments and her 70 years of service.
And they will also reflect on their first year as King and Queen.
It is thought a small number of family members have remained for the day.
They do not include the King’s brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and sister Princess Anne, who have returned south from their break on the Scottish estate.
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His sons Prince William and Prince Harry are not there either.
William and Kate will join a private church service at St David’s Cathedral in Wales today, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s life.
They will then meet members of the local community in the cloister before any well-wishers waiting outside.
Harry — who in the past year has slammed his family in a Netflix docuseries and bombshell memoir Spare — flew without wife Meghan to London yesterday for a charity gala.
The King has no plans to see him before Harry flies to Dusseldorf to open his Invictus Games tomorrow.
In a letter and his personal statement — which he recorded yesterday — the King says: “In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.
“I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.”
The released image was of the late Queen at the age of 42.
She is pictured standing sideways and smiling in her Garter robes and wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Tiara, made of 15 interlaced diamond circles.
The picture was taken at Buckingham Palace in 1968, as part of an official sitting granted to Cecil Beaton — her Coronation photographer.
It was first shown at the National Portrait Gallery between November 1968 and March 1969, as part of its exhibition Beaton Portraits 1928-68. It had not been shown in public since.
The King and Queen have been surrounded by members of the family during their long summer break.
They arrived in Scotland at the end of July.
Sources said Charles spent the past week walking in the Highlands while Camilla has been enjoying the gardens at Balmoral and Birkhall.
A royal source said: "It’s a very poignant moment for them both, not least because they were in Scotland at the moment of Her Majesty's passing.
“They will be thinking back a year ago and about her 70 years of great service to the nation.
“They will also be reflecting on their own first year and all that has been accomplished.”
Just 48 hours before Queen Elizabeth died, she swore in Prime Minister Liz Truss — who lasted only 49 days before she was ousted and replaced by Rishi Sunak.
In a GB News interview to mark the anniversary, Ms Truss said: “In the meeting at Balmoral, she was absolutely on top of what was happening.
“She was very, very keen to reassure me that we'd be meeting again soon. It was very important to her.
“I’d met the Queen before when I was Justice Secretary.
“I've met her on several occasions.
“And although she was physically quite frail, she was always absolutely mentally alert and determined to do her duty.
“I was obviously only in the first few days of the job of being Prime Minister.
“I was thinking about many, many different things.
“But the assumption absolutely was that this would be the first of many meetings.”
Mr Sunak said of Queen Elizabeth yesterday: “I was struck by her wisdom, by her incredible warmth and grace, but also her sharp wit.
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“People across the UK — whether they had the good fortune to meet Her late Majesty or not — will be reflecting today on what she meant to them and the example she set for us all.
We will cherish those memories.”
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