The Queen has posed for a new portrait released for Canada Day on 1 July, to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In the picture, Her Majesty looks regal in a glittering gold dress and pays tribute to the Commonwealth country by wearing the Canadian maple leaf brooch, which originally belonged to the Queen Mother.
Royal fans were quick to note that the brooch – made of platinum and set with diamonds – was first worn by the Queen Mother in 1939. It was a present from King George VI to his wife to mark their visit to the country, which was, incidentally, the first trip to Canada by a reigning monarch. The brooch was loaned to the then-Princess Elizabeth for her first visit to Canada in 1951, and when the Queen Mother passed away in 2002, it was inherited by Her Majesty.
The portrait was released on Canada Day
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The 91-year-old monarch has loaned the brooch to various members of the royal family, including the Duchess of Cornwall, who wore it in 2009 on her royal tour, and the Duchess of Cambridge, who borrowed it for her first visit to Canada in July 2011.
The portrait was taken by Toronto-based photographer Ian Leslie Macdonald and was published while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are on their three-day tour of Canada, focused around the anniversary celebrations. The Prince is officially representing the Queen on this tour.
Kate has worn the maple leaf brooch before
This is not the first time Mr Macdonald has photographed the Queen. As regimental photographer to the 48th Highlanders of Canada, he also took an official portrait of Her Majesty this year to commemorate the Queen's platinum anniversary as Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. He also took new official portraits for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada and the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. In 2012, Mr Macdonald was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to Canada and the Crown.