Rolf Harris and BBC unveil new official portrait of The Queen
Rolf Harris today unveils his portrait of Her Majesty The Queen at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
His portrait in oils, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - An 80th Birthday Portrait, took two months to complete, and its creation will be the subject of a BBC ONE television programme, The Queen, by Rolf, to be broadcast on 1 January 2006.
Rolf Harris said: "I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to paint The Queen to celebrate her 80th birthday.
"She is an incredible lady and it was a real pleasure to paint her.
"The portrait I've created aims to capture The Queen's warm and friendly personality, rather than being a very formal portrait focussing more on her official status."
Rolf based the 100 x 50 cm portrait on two sittings with The Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier in the year and completed the portrait back at his own studio.
The BBC gained exclusive access to film both sittings at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen, by Rolf will give BBC ONE viewers the opportunity to follow the progress of a Royal portrait from blank canvas to finished painting.
Rolf's portrait joins more than 130 official portraits which have been painted of The Queen throughout her life by artists ranging from Philip de Laszlo to Lucian Freud.
The portrait, commissioned by the BBC to celebrate The Queen's 80th birthday in 2006, will go on public display at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace from Tuesday 20 December 2005 by gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen.
Notes to Editors
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - 80th Birthday Portrait by Rolf Harris (100 x 50 cm, oils) will go on display to the public from Tuesday 20 December until Sunday 11 June at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.
Access to the portrait will be included in the general admission to the gallery throughout normal opening hours.
In addition, free admission to view the portrait will be available from 3.30pm every day (last admission 4.30pm).
Information about current exhibitions at The Queen's Gallery and admission details is available from 020 7766 7320 or the Royal Collection website - www.royalcollection.org.uk
The Queen's Gallery is open daily, except 25-26 December 2005 and 14 April 2006.
The Queen, by Rolf will be broadcast at 8.00pm on BBC ONE on 1 January 2006.
Rolf Harris was born in Perth, Western Australia. He has been awarded the OBE and is a Member of the Order of Australia.
He has won many awards for his work in the entertainment industry and he has a background in Fine Art.
Rolf on Art has attracted more than four million viewers to each programme since the first series launched in 2001, with up to seven million viewers watching the first two series.