Monarch of the Glen: This astonishing photo of the Queen was taken at her beloved Balmoral and marks the 60th anniversary of her Coronation. Robert Hardman tells the behind-the-scenes story
The face is the most familiar on the planet, reproduced on more coins, notes and stamps than any human likeness in history. But it is safe to say that we have never seen Her Majesty the Queen pictured quite like this. Not only is she in the full and elaborate regalia of her most exclusive order of chivalry but she is standing in the middle of nowhere.
No trick photography has taken place. There has been no digital enhancement by some special effects boffin. This spectacular image of the Sovereign – published in Weekend for the very first time – really is the Queen, standing next to a remote stream called Gelder Burn on her Balmoral Estate.
She is dressed in the green velvet mantle of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, the Scottish counterpart to England’s Order of the Garter. From her shoulders, held by white satin ties, hangs the Collar of the Order made of golden thistles and rue sprigs, from which, in turn, hangs a tiny St Andrew and his saltire cross.
The Queen at her desk at Balmoral. In front of her is a touching photograph of her as a young girl with her father, while behind her is a cuddly toy corgi and a Bakelite telephone which has no numbers as it connects directly to the switchboard
As if we needed any more proof that Helen Mirren is truly awesome:
Dame Helen Mirren, in character as Queen Elizabeth, fulfills a boy’s dying wish to have tea with the Queen.
Oliver Burton, who has Down’s Syndrome, was recently diagnosed with terminal spine and bone marrow cancer.
After a performance of Peter Morgan’s The Audience, Mirren invited Oliver and his family backstage to have tea and meet her corgis.