Buckingham Palace shares rare portrait of Queen Elizabeth II one year on from her death

queen elizabeth ii visits west sussex in 2017
Rare portrait of Queen Elizabeth II released Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

King Charles III has paid tribute to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, on the first anniversary of her death.

To mark the sombre occasion, the monarch, 74, released a rarely seen portrait of the Queen, personally selected by Charles himself.

The portrait of a young Elizabeth, still relatively early on in her record-breaking, 70 year reign, sees the Queen in full royal regalia. In a velvet cape and glistening tiara, she is seen giving the camera a small, reserved smile.

queen elizabeth ii portrait released by buckingham palace
Royal Collection Trust/His Majesty King Charles III 2023 - PA Images

The photograph was taken at Buckingham Palace on 16 October 1968, as part of an official sitting granted to Cecil Beaton.

"The image was first shown at the National Portrait Gallery between November 1968 and March 1969, as part of its first photographic exhibition 'Beaton Portraits 1928-68,'" a statement released by the palace explains. "This was also the first retrospective of the work of a living photographer in a British national museum."

When the exhibition finished in 1969, this portrait of the Queen was put back into royal archives, and had not been seen since – until now.

Queen Elizabeth II died on 8th September, 2022, aged 96, in her Balmoral home. Her family raced to gather around her after news of her ailing health.

A year on, the Royal Family is thought to be back at the Aberdeenshire estate to spend the day mourning the Queen’s death privately.

queen elizabeth ii and prince charles celebrate her 90th birthday
Samir Hussein - Getty Images

However, the King has also released a public message to the nation to express his feelings.

“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,” his statement reads.

“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.”

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