Queen portrait unveiled in Australia

Ralph Heimans portrait of the Queen The picture depicts the Queen on the exact spot where she was crowned nearly 60 years ago

A new portrait of the Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee has been unveiled in Australia.

Painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans, it depicts the Queen in the Sacrarium of Westminster Abbey.

The work, which measures nine feet by 11 feet, is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia, until next March.

The artist, who is based in London, had a sitting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 21 March.

Entitled The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it is part of a new display marking the Diamond Jubilee.

'Incredible milestone'

Mr Heimans said: "Through the narrative of the portrait I wanted to produce a work of particular significance for the Diamond Jubilee.

"By representing the Queen as she reflects on this incredible milestone in her life, I wanted to explore the dynamic between her public role and the personal, emotional dimension."

The painting was unveiled on Friday by the Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

It shows the Queen in a moment of solitary reflection at the centre circle of the Cosmati pavement, exactly where she was crowned nearly 60 years ago.

It has been an integral part of the coronation ceremony since it was commissioned by Henry III in the 13th century and is where every English monarch has been crowned for the last 900 years.

The floor was covered for approximately 150 years and has only recently been restored.

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