A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that makes no attempt to hide her wrinkles, furrowed brow and gray hair went on display today, and its creator said the monarch likes it a lot.
The painter, Richard Stone, said he realized that some people might be shocked by the life-size picture, which shows the queen in profile wearing a crown, jewelry and robes for the annual state opening of Parliament.
"No one should be offended because the queen is 63 after all and she is still a fine-looking woman for her years," said Stone, 38, who has completed 15 other portraits of Royal Family members. "She has seen the painting and she is delighted with it."
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the portrait, unveiled at the Town Hall in Colchester, 50 miles northeast of London. It was commissioned to mark the 800th anniversary of the royal charter granted to Colchester.