The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II

Portrait 6

This portrait of Queen Elizabeth is based on a photograph by Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. The photograph was one of many taken during a photographic session in 1951, a year before Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne. Many of the portraits from the photographic session show The Queen wearing a tiara, but the particular photograph chosen by the Bank of Canada for its 1954 issue is one without the tiara. The necklace worn by The Queen in this portrait, of diamond flowers and leaves, was a wedding present from Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar. The image on the banknotes, which is based on Karsh's photograph, was engraved by George Gundersen of the British American Bank Note Company. This portrait is famous for its two varieties.

Date of Original Portrait: 1951
Photographer: Yousuf Karsh
Portrait 6a
The first variety of this engraving incorporates a 'devil's head' in The Queen's hair.
Use of this Portrait:
  • Canada -- Nos. 66 to 73
Portrait 6b
The second variety of the engraving is modified to remove the offending pattern in Her Majesty's hair.
Use of this Portrait:
  • Canada -- Nos. 74 to 84

© Peter Symes 2003