The Queen beams in poignant final portrait released ahead of state funeral

Her Majesty was photographed at Windsor Castle four months before her sad passing

The Queen is pictured smiling with joy in a previously unseen portrait, released by Buckingham Palace on the eve of her funeral.

READ: Who will attend the Queen's funeral - confirmed guest list

The photograph, taken by Ranald Mackechnie, was shot in May ahead of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and shows the 96-year-old monarch posing at her Windsor Castle home. The radiant Queen is dressed in a dove blue dress, wearing her beloved three-strand pearl necklace and favourite pearl earrings.

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Her ensemble is set off by her sentimental aquamarine and diamond clip brooches, a poignant choice of accessory for what would become her final portrait.

SEE: The Queen experienced heartbreaking loss days before death - details

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The art deco brooches were an 18th birthday present from her father George VI in 1944. The two glittering pieces, worn one on top of the other, were crafted by Boucheron from dazzling baguette, oval and round diamonds and aquamarines.

The Queen's final portrait was taken by Ranald Mackechnie

The Queen famously sported the brooches when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020, as well as for her Diamond Jubilee speech in 2012.

The choice of Ranald Mackechnie as her photographer is a symbolic one since he also took the special portrait of the Queen released to mark the start of her historic 70-year reign Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The late monarch's brooches were an 18th birthday present from her father

On Monday, King Charles III will lead the nation in mourning for its longest reigning monarch at the state funeral for the Queen at Westminster Abbey.

Two thousand people including international royals and world leaders will come together for a day of pageantry and military processions to remember the late monarch.

The Queen's state funeral is taking place on Monday 19 September

The state funeral service will be conducted by David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster, with Prime Minister Liz Truss and Patricia Scotland, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, reading Lessons.

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Following the service, Her Majesty's coffin will travel in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch before moving to Windsor.

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