White Star Service logo


Breaking News – The New Official Portrait Of Her Majesty The Queen Is Unveiled

September 21, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage – 21 days

Welcome to another Blog from sunny Monfalcone in Italy. As the world awaits our new Queen, I can tell you that our latest Cunarder is looking stunning with just three weeks to go before her maiden voyage. Over this last weekend, the crew moved on board their new home for the first time and I’ll have pictures and news about that on Thursday. There are more and more crew arriving everyday, with over three quarters of the ships company already here, and in my next post I’ll let you know how everyone is settling in.

Today I am excited to tell you about a special unveiling that took place last night at a private event at the National Portrait Gallery in London. I wasn’t able to get back from Italy to present the latest Vlog, so who better to tell you more about the evening, than Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks.



As you saw in the Vlog, in line with the Cunard tradition of commissioning appropriate sculpture or portraits for display on board each ship named by a member of the Royal Family, the company commissioned this official portrait of The Queen for Queen Elizabeth, which will be named by Her Majesty next month. Here are some photographs from the function last night where the portrait was revealed.





The Queen granted three sittings for the portrait which is a three-quarter length painting showing her dressed in blue and wearing Queen Victoria’s collet necklace and earrings, which she also wore for her Coronation in 1953.


The new official portrait unveiled by the artist last night shows The Queen in the Yellow Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, and as you saw in the Vlog, it was painted by 31-year-old Lancashire-born Isobel Peachey.


Although an accomplished award-winning portrait artist, she had never before been commissioned to paint a royal portrait. Talking about how she was chosen, Isobel said:

“At my interview with Cunard, I answered many questions about how I would approach an important commission, but it was only at the end of the interview that the subject was revealed as The Queen. This was both a shock and a marvellous surprise”.

Commenting on how the artist was chosen, Peter Shanks, told me:


 “Apart from being impressed by the quality of Isobel’s work, which we originally saw on display in the National Portrait Gallery, we were keen to offer the commission to a young artist who had never  before had such an opportunity. Isobel is, in fact, the youngest female artist ever to paint the monarch, and the quality of the finished work is such that our confidence has been greatly rewarded. It is a truly wonderful picture of Her Majesty. It is even more remarkable when you consider that, lacking a private studio, she executed this magnificent painting in her mum’s attic!”


Her Majesty will see the finished portrait for the first time on 11 October, when she visits Southampton to name Queen Elizabeth. The portrait will hang in a prominent position in the ship’s Grand Lobby on deck 2, near the B Stairway and Cafe Carinthia,

In fact this photo gives you an idea of how Queen Elizabeth is progressing inside. I took this picture just yesterday and it shows how close our new Queen is to completion. The furniture is now coming on board, but the artwork, carpets and furnishings are all under protective coverings until the ship is handed over to Cunard at the end of the month.

Speaking of artwork you’ll be delighted to hear that the magnificent Linley artwork has now been carefully placed in its new home in the Grand Lobby and as you can see in this photo, it really looks wonderful.


As I mentioned I’ll have more news from Queen Elizabeth on Thursday with the latest photos of the ship and the crew who are now preparing the latest Cunarder for service. Then on Monday I’ll have a special President’s Blog paying tribute to Captain Nick Bates.

Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Jeff Towns says:

    The portrait is very well done. Great job Isobel!

  2. what a stunning portrait of our majesty queen elizabeth. isobel is to be congratulated on such a wonderful study of the queen. we are sure like many cunard passengers on the new queen elizabeth this will become the first attraction on the ship everyone makes for. how lovely to see such a young talent produce the most beautiful piece of art. we have to wait until november 8th to catch even more excitement now.

  3. Wes Pippenger says:

    Absolutely marvellous and a nice addition to the many likenesses of the Queen. We can’t wait to see the portrait on board on October 12th!

  4. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Once again a grea vlog.
    The portriat looks fantastic and we can’t wait to see some more photographs of the beautiful interior with only 3 weeks to go.
    Many thanks
    Chris & Margaret

  5. Eric from London says:

    The artist is very glamorous, she looks like Sophie-Ellis Bextor!

  6. David&Avril Denmead says:

    The portrait of Her Majesty the Queen is stunning, congratulations Isobel
    David and Avril Denmead

  7. Alex Craig says:

    Best portrait of the Queen for a long time well done Isobel a potrait of a Great Queen for a Grand Liner

  8. Keith Winestein says:

    This portrait really captures Her Majesty The Queen. I can’t wait to see it in situ onboard Cunard’s latest liner Queen Elizabeth soon to be launched by Her Majesty. God bless HM The Queen and God bless Queen Elizabth.

  9. Carol kane says:

    What a wonderful picture of Queen Elizebeth, first class, well done young lady, well done.you did us proud. I have to say it is one of the best I have seen of the Queen. I will look forward to viewing it when abourd in Sydney. I wish I was board in next month. Oh well Feb is not far away.

  10. Chris & Margie McDonald says:

    Congratulations to Isobel and Cunard on a superb 21st Century portrait of Her Majesty. We very much look forward to seeing it in person when we board QE as part of her maiden RTW cruise in the new year. Alistair, your Vlog is excellent, keep up the good work (need some stateroom photos)!

  11. Ken and Sandra Smith says:

    What a superb portrait from an extremely gifted artist. We look forward with great pleasure to seeing this on Queen Elizabeth on the 12th October.

  12. James and Moira Fergie says:

    What an amazing talent young Isobel Peachey has. We are looking forward to viewing the portrait when we come on board on 1st December. It is a truly exciting time for everyone connected with Cunard. We cannot wait to renew our acquaintance with the Cunard staff especially as we are boarding straight from the train coming from Edinburgh. No flying hurrah and no luggage restrictions.

  13. Val McGovern says:

    What a wonderful portrait of Her Majasty. Look forward to seeing it in January. Tom&Val McGovern

  14. Beryl Moss says:

    What a truly amazing and talented young lady. The painting is exquisite and am looking forward to seeing it on board Queen Elizabeth when I am on her next year with my twin teenage grand-daughters which will be their introduction to the wonderful world of Cunard. Looking forward to more internal pictures and the excitement grows when myself along with many others will witness her arriving in Southammpton on the 8th.

  15. Paul Cunane says:

    Thanks Alistair & Cunard for keeping us updated over the last few months re The New Queen Elizebeth.
    You all need to be congratulated on these excellent Vlogs ! so informative. Can’t wait for the preview visit on the 10th Oct and the Christmas/New year voyage. Paul.

  16. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    A kindly and thoughtful reflection of a Lady and Queen. As one has said – I saw her, but once………

    I recommend dining in her Presence.

  17. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    Whilst one may recommend dining in her presence, I remember, most fondly, dining in her presence.

  18. Luis Mirassol says:

    Truly a work of are from some fine yonge hands. Job well done Isobel!

  19. Luis Mirassol says:


  20. David - Hawaii says:

    God Bless the Queen …. and god bless Isobel Peachey ( a felow Lancastrian ) for
    such a wonderful portrait of Her Magesty.

  21. Beautifully executed work, congratulations to Cunard for providing this accomplished young artist an opportunity to paint this portrait.

  22. Gary Geer says:

    Many thanks and much appreciation to Cunard for commissioning such a work.
    And to Isobel Peachey… WELL DONE YOU!
    God Bless the Queen.

  23. Terry Allen says:

    Bloody awful, when will the British ever get rid of that terrible institution called royalty!!??

    Remember “…all men are created equal…”

    Besides your “Queen” is of German heritage!!!

  24. Stacy says:

    Stunning portrait of Queen Elizabeth. Isobel very much captured the person who is the Queen. Excellent work.
    There is so much more in the painting, than what is visible in the photo taken (I’m looking at the picture of Isobel and the portrait in process).
    I would hazard that guests aboard Cunard Line’s “Queen Elizabeth” will spend much time looking at this wonderfully done portrait of Her Royal Majesty.

  25. Congratulations to Isobel Peachey on her painting of Queen Elizabeth11. Beautifully done, such a lovely Portrait of Queen Elizabeth

  26. A Beautiful Portrait Of her Queen Elizabeth. Isobel Peachey should be Congratulated on her work well done, indeed. With only Three Sittings. Thank You Cunard and Alastair Greener for sharing them with us on line.

Leave a Comment