Queen’s ‘wonderful’ blue eyes sparkle in previously-unseen portrait issued before her funeral

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An unseen portrait of the Queen smiling with joy has been released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of her funeral.

The photograph, taken in May ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, shows the monarch beaming brightly at the camera in Windsor Castle.

In a televised tribute to her mother-in-law on Sunday evening, the Queen Consort recalled the Queen’s “wonderful blue eyes” and said: “I will always remember her smile.”

The Queen, who is dressed in a dusky dove blue dress with her hair neatly curled, is wearing her favourite three-strand pearl necklace, pearl earrings and her aquamarine and diamond clip brooches which were an 18th birthday present from her father George VI in 1944.

The two art deco-style pieces, worn one below the other, were made by Boucheron from baguette, oval and round diamonds and aquamarines.

Queen Elizabeth II in the previously unseen portrait (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II in the previously unseen portrait (PA)

The Queen wore the brooches when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020 and for her Diamond Jubilee televised speech in 2012.

The image was taken by photographer Ranald Mackechnie, who also took the jubilee portrait of the Queen released to mark the start of national festivities of her milestone 70-year reign.

Seventy photos for 70 years of HM Queen Elizabeth II record-breaking reign

2016: Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the Prince’s Trust Centre in Kennington, London, to mark the 40th anniversary of the charity (PA)
2016: Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the Prince’s Trust Centre in Kennington, London, to mark the 40th anniversary of the charity (PA)
1953: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (PA)
1953: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (PA)
1957: The Queen, in a gold lame dress, is seen in the Long Library at Sandringham shortly after making the traditional Christmas Day broadcast to the nation. On the desk are portraits of Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The Queen is holding the copy of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, from which she read a few lines during her message. The broadcast was televised this year for the first time and was carried by both the BBC and ITV. It was the 25th anniversary of the first radio message to the Commonwealth by her grandfather, King George V (PA)
1957: The Queen, in a gold lame dress, is seen in the Long Library at Sandringham shortly after making the traditional Christmas Day broadcast to the nation. On the desk are portraits of Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The Queen is holding the copy of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, from which she read a few lines during her message. The broadcast was televised this year for the first time and was carried by both the BBC and ITV. It was the 25th anniversary of the first radio message to the Commonwealth by her grandfather, King George V (PA)
2007: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands for  their Royal Wedding Diamond Anniversary (PA)
2007: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands for their Royal Wedding Diamond Anniversary (PA)
1952: The new Queen, Elizabeth II (formerly Princess Elizabeth), returns to Clarence House, London, with the Duke of Edinburgh from London Airport after the sudden death of her father, King George VI. She succeeded the King on his death a day earlier (PA)
1952: The new Queen, Elizabeth II (formerly Princess Elizabeth), returns to Clarence House, London, with the Duke of Edinburgh from London Airport after the sudden death of her father, King George VI. She succeeded the King on his death a day earlier (PA)
1954: Prince Charles and Princess Anne stand with their parents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their return from the Commonwealth tour (PA)
1954: Prince Charles and Princess Anne stand with their parents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their return from the Commonwealth tour (PA)
1955: Watched by Lady Churchill, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill bows low to Queen Elizabeth II as he welcomes her and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner (PA)
1955: Watched by Lady Churchill, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill bows low to Queen Elizabeth II as he welcomes her and the Duke of Edinburgh to 10 Downing Street for dinner (PA)
1956: The Queen strolls through Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and two of her corgies. The were there to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play polo (PA)
1956: The Queen strolls through Windsor Great Park with Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and two of her corgies. The were there to watch the Duke of Edinburgh play polo (PA)
1958: Miners see the Queen wearing white overalls, scarf and helmet and black gumboots during her visit to Rothes Colliery Fifeshire. It was the Queen;s first visit to a coal mine and she spent about half an hour underground visiting the coal face (PA)
1958: Miners see the Queen wearing white overalls, scarf and helmet and black gumboots during her visit to Rothes Colliery Fifeshire. It was the Queen;s first visit to a coal mine and she spent about half an hour underground visiting the coal face (PA)
1959: Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor joined by Sugar, one of the Royal corgis (PA)
1959: Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor joined by Sugar, one of the Royal corgis (PA)
1960: The Queen holding Prince Andrew during an outing in the grounds at Balmoral, Scotland, where the Royal Family are on holiday (PA)
1960: The Queen holding Prince Andrew during an outing in the grounds at Balmoral, Scotland, where the Royal Family are on holiday (PA)

The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee with the nation three months before she died.