Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully aged 96 while at Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s retreat to Scotland, Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon. She ruled the UK and 14 other sovereign nations for seven decades and seven months, making her one of the longest-serving monarchs in history.
Mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday, chanting ‘God Saved the Queen’ as the news broke, and a double rainbow was spotted over the Queen’s memorial Victoria nearby. Her son Charles, who will take the throne, issued a statement in memory of his “beloved mother”.
“I know his loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Kingdoms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people across the world,” he said. “During this time of grief and change, my family and I will be comforted and supported by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”
As with many rulers, the Queen’s image has been captured countless times by artists over the years, from Andy Warhol to Annie Leibovitz. We’ve collected some of the most poignant portraits composed over the years.
Yousuf Karsh, queen elizabeth (1951). © Estate of Yousuf Karsh. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Elizabeth Peyton, Queen Elizabeth aged 16 (after Benton) (1996). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.
Oluwole Omofemi, The Queen, (2022). Courtesy of Sotheby’s
A portrait of the Queen by artist Andrew Festing for the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Photo: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images.
Visitors look at a painting of Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at The Mall Galleries on May 2, 2012 in London, England. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.
Portrait by Rolf Harris of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Andrew Stuart/AFP via Getty Images.
Thomas Strut, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Windsor Castle, (2011) © Private collection. Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Queen Elizabeth II looks at a recently commissioned portrait of herself in the Queen’s bedroom as she takes a tour of the new Cunard Queen Elizabeth II cruise liner at Southampton Docks on October 11, 2010 in Southampton, England . (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Chris Levin, lightness of being (2018). Photo courtesy of the artist and Sotheby’s.
Queen Elizabeth II unveils her portrait with Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and Irish Government for Equality. Photo: Jeff Spicer/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Cecile Beaton Queen Elizabeth II, coronation day (1953). Courtesy of the V&A.
Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, HM Queen Elizabeth II (2002).
Andy Warhol, Queen Elizabeth (single) (1985). Courtesy of Adamar Fine Arts.
Portrait by Lucian Freud of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images.
Dorothee Wilding, Queen Elizabeth IIhand-coloured by Beatrice Johnson, (1952). Photo: © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler, courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London.
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. images discover how the artists captured queen Elizabeth monarch former uk during seven decades her reigns