‘Twinkle in Queen’s eye’ captured in rediscovered portrait to mark jubilee

Photo of Queen Elizabeth II lay unnoticed in artist Rob Munday's archive for 19 years

Artist Rob Munday unveils a never-before-seen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II after it had been hidden away for 19 years. Getty.
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A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which captures the monarch off-guard and smiling with a “quizzical expression”, has been unveiled to mark her platinum jubilee.

The relaxed test shot by Rob Munday was taken in 2004 during a photographic session to create the first officially commissioned 3D hologram of the queen.

Munday’s new image — which he has titled Platinum Queen: Felicity — remained unnoticed in his archives for almost 19 years, before he rediscovered it last summer.

The composition sees Queen Elizabeth reacting to an unscripted and amusing comment made by her close confidante and senior dresser Angela Kelly, as Ms Kelly rearranged her clothing before the holographic shoot at Buckingham Palace.

Munday said: “The queen’s daily life is so full of responsibility and duty that it was wonderful to see this fleeting moment of relaxation and pleasure.

“It is an uplifting portrait, so different from many of the more sombre portraits commissioned in recent years and a befitting celebration for her platinum jubilee.”

The portrait was described as capturing “the twinkle in the queen’s eye” and an “almost-quizzical expression” demonstrating “the deep bond and trust” between the monarch and Ms Kelly, with the piece dedicated to their 20 years of friendship.

The original holographic portrait of the queen, titled Equanimity, by artist Chris Levine and holographer Munday, was previously voted visitors’ favourite portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Two sittings took place and to create a three-dimensional portrait, more than 10,000 images were made.

The new portrait is named 'Platinum Queen: Felicity' and is dedicated to the 20 years of friendship between Queen Elizabeth II and her personal assistant and close friend Angela Kelly.  AP.

It was commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust to celebrate 800 years of the island’s loyalty to the Crown.

In 2012, it appeared on a Jersey £100 banknote and featured on the front cover of Time Magazine’s diamond jubilee issue.

In it, the queen wears a white ermine cape, a string of pearls and the famous Diamond Diadem.

Platinum Queen: Felicity was shot using a Dalsa machine vision camera, at the time the fastest and highest-resolution video camera in the world, able to capture 30 frames per second.

Ms Kelly, who is also the queen’s personal adviser, has, with the monarch’s agreement, written a book about her service.

She shared details of how the queen shut herself in her sitting room and spent time “alone with her own thoughts” after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

She also revealed how she became the queen’s hairdresser while in lockdown as part of HMS Bubble, the nickname given to the reduced household of dedicated royal staff.

The image was unveiled at the Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane hotel in London at the launch of Munday’s new exhibition of light sculptures, Presence.

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Updated: May 05, 2022, 9:15 AM