Scottish photographer Harry Benson has taken a new portrait of the Queen, describing it as “truly a highlight” of his career.
Commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Benson captured the monarch in the Audience Room at Buckingham Palace where she usually holds her weekly meeting with the Prime Minister.
The Queen is seen standing near the sheer curtains at the window, looking out with a slight smile on her face.
Dressed in violet, the Queen is also wearing a gold and and diamond brooch featuring thistles, the national emblem of Scotland.
Glasgow-born Benson has spent more than 50 years behind the lens and photographed every American president since Eisenhower and worked with countless celebrities including The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss.
His 1964 image of The Beatles having a pillow fight in a Paris hotel room during their international tour has become one of the world’s most-recognised images of the pop group.
Benson described photographing the Queen as a privilege.
“To have been asked by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to photograph Her Majesty The Queen for an official portrait is truly a highlight of my career,” he said.
“I first photographed Her Majesty in Scotland opening a coal mine in 1957, and thereafter visiting towns in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Western Highlands, and later in London at the opening of Parliament.
“It was always an honour and a privilege, but the most memorable was when I had the opportunity to take an official portrait in Buckingham Palace for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
“I was given the opportunity of selecting the colour and dress that The Queen would wear for the portrait. My teachers at the Eastwood School in Glasgow would be amazed.”
Christopher Baker, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, described the work as “respectful and thoughtful”.
“We are delighted with this new portrait, which is the first the Scottish National Portrait Gallery has commissioned of the Queen.
“It is also an especially fitting way of marking a key moment in Harry Benson’s distinguished career, as 2014 is the 50th anniversary of his great portraits of The Beatles, which established his reputation as one of the finest modern photographers.
“Harry Benson’s portrait of Her Majesty is a respectful and thoughtful work, which will, I am confident, prove extremely popular.”