fit for a queen

Queen Buys Warhol of Herself

Australia has unveiled its official portrait of the Queen for the Diamond Jubilee on the same day it was announced that the Queen has bought four of the famous silk screens of herself for the Royal collection.

The Australian portrait, which took six months to complete, is by British-based Australian artist Ralph Heimans, who described the Queen as “the ultimate subject”.

He was allowed just one hour with the Queen, on March 21, wearing full regalia including – at the artist’s request - the robe she wore at her coronation, according to the Telegraph.Mr Heimans said: "Because she’s an old lady and has beautiful kind eyes, instantly when she approached I was at ease... She's amazingly vulnerable. I wanted to be very honest.”The painting was unveiled today by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, and will be at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra as part of an exhibition commemorating the Jubilee.

Meanwhile, the Queen herself has purchased a set of four screen prints by pop artist Andy Warhol, through the Royal Collection. They will be displayed at an exhibition in Windsor Castle later this year, the Telegraph reports.Warhol, who created the prints in 1985, once said: “I want to be as famous as the Queen of England.”

The set is the 14th in an edition of 30. Another set from the same edition was auctioned by Sotheby's last week and was expected to fetch an estimated £150,000.