The Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II

Portrait 23

This image of The Queen is based on an official photograph taken at Buckingham Palace by Terry O'Neill, an English photographer. The Royal Family Order of King George VI is apparent on the left-hand shoulder of Her Majesty in most engravings of this portrait, while the uppermost portion of the Royal Family Order of King George V is visible in the engraving on some banknotes. The tiara worn by Her Majesty, representing a wreath of flowers, is made of diamonds and Burmese rubies. The tiara was commissioned by the Queen in 1973 and manufactured by Garrard, the London jewellers, from stones in her private collection. The Burmese people gave Her Majesty a gift of ninety-six rubies set in gold as a wedding gift and Her Majesty later decided to use these stones, plus some of her diamonds, to create a tiara and earrings. The matching earrings, of rubies and diamonds, form small flowers that complement the floral form of the tiara and are worn by the Queen in this portrait. The diamonds used in the tiara and earrings came from a tiara given to Her Majesty as part of her wedding gift by the Nizam of Hyderabad and Berar. The origin of the necklace in this portrait is unknown.

Date of Original Portrait: 1992
Photographer: Terry O'Neill
Portrait 23a
This interpretation of Terry O'Neill's photograph was engraved by Alan Dow of De La Rue for banknotes designed by that company. This version of the portrait shows The Queen with an elongated face and full eyebrows.
Use of this Portrait:
  • Gibraltar -- Nos. 25 to 29.
  • Guernsey -- Nos. 56 to 60.
  • Fiji -- Nos. 88 to 92.
  • Bermuda -- Nos. 50 to 55.
Portrait 23b
This version of the portrait was prepared by the British American Banknote Company. In this portrait The Queen appears to have a rounder face and narrow eyebrows. This image, unlike the De La Rue image, also suggests The Queen has forced her smile.
Use of this Portrait:
  • Bahamas -- Nos. 57 to 59.

© Peter Symes 2003


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