Kensington Palace has published an unseen photo of the Queen – taken shortly before her death – and released it on what would have been Her Majesty’s 97th birthday today.
The monarch’s photo was taken by the Princess of Wales at Balmoral in August, weeks before Britain and the Commonwealth lost their queen.
Happy in the Scottish Highlands she loved so much, Her Majesty is surrounded by some of her adored grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She appeared in her element with Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, James, Earl of Wessex, Lena Tindall, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Isla Phillips, Prince Louis, Mia Tindall, Lucas Tindall and Savannah Phillips.
It is poignant that weeks later, on September 8, the Queen would die at her beloved home in Aberdeenshire, sparking mourning in the UK and around the world.
The Queen in her element with her grandchildren. Pictured next to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II are: Top row (L-R): Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, James, Earl of Wessex. Middle row (LR): Lena Tindall, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Isla Phillips, Prince Louis. Bottom row (L-R): Mia Tindall, Lucas Tindall, Savannah Phillips.
The photo was released today by Kensington Palace to mark Her Majesty’s 97th birthday.
The impromptu portrait was taken at the castle by keen amateur photographer, Kate, at the annual family gathering in August, shortly before she died.
Queen Elizabeth had eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren at the time of her death.
A similar family photo was released after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in 2021.
Earlier today, the Royal Family paid tribute to their beloved matriarch, who passed away peacefully after celebrating her platinum anniversary, on their social media with a photo of Queen Elizabeth on duty with the message: ‘Today we remember the incredible life and legacy from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on what would have been her 97th birthday’.
Queen Elizabeth II waits in the drawing room before receiving Liz Truss for an audience at Balmoral. It would be the last photograph taken of the Queen on September 6, 2022
The Princess of Wales (right) shoots Camila’s cover portrait for the special edition of Country Life celebrating her 75th birthday last year
In July, Camilla, now Queen Consort, praised the Duchess of Cambridge’s “very natural” photographic skills when she unveiled a photo Prince Charles “approves” of, which was taken “with much laughter” in the garden.
The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of guest editing Country Life magazine, which will feature a number of photos taken by her stepdaughter in celebration of her 75th birthday.
The front cover of the magazine’s special issue, available Wednesday, features a photo of Camilla taken by Kate.
The photo was taken at Ray Mill House, Camilla’s country retreat in Lacock, Wiltshire. She purchased the six-bedroom property, 17 miles from the Prince of Wales’ home in Highgrove, following her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles in the mid-1990s.
In a documentary that followed her role as guest editor for ITV, Camilla said: ‘They are very good pictures. She does it very naturally. We had a lot of fun doing it.
‘It was very relaxed and very nice that the Duchess of Cambridge came with her camera – she is an exceptionally good photographer. It was all very casual.
“There wasn’t much hair or makeup. It was just done in the yard with lots of laughter. It was a nice way to do it.’
And referring to one photo in particular, she added, “This is the one I know my husband approves of. Catherine said if there was anything else that needed to be done, she would be happy to do it.
“If I can get over them looking at myself, I think they’re very beautiful and just what’s needed for Country Life.”
A portrait of the Duchess of Cornwall taken by the Princess of Wales at Raymill in Wiltshire for a special royal edition of Country Life magazine