Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at age 96 while at Balmoral Castle, the Royal Family’s retreat in Scotland, Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon. She ruled the United Kingdom and 14 other sovereign nations for seven decades and seven months, making her one of the longest-serving monarchs in history.
Mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday, and a double rainbow was spotted over the nearby Queen Victoria Memorial. Her son Charles, who will take over the throne, released a statement in memory of his “beloved Mother.”
“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” he said. “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
As with many rulers, The Queen’s image has been captured countless times by artists over the years, from Andy Warhol to Annie Leibovitz. We’ve rounded up some of the most poignant portraits composed over the years.
Yousuf Karsh, Queen Elizabeth (1951). © Estate of Yousuf Karsh. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Annie Leibovitz, Queen Elizabeth II, The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace, London (2007). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.
Elizabeth Peyton, Queen Elizabeth Aged 16 (after Benton) (1996). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.
Peter Blake, Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (Radio Times Diamond Jubilee Royal Souvenir Cover) (2012). Courtesy of Waddington Custot.
Oluwole Omofemi, The Queen, (2022). Courtesy Sotheby’s
Richard Stone, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
A portrait of The Queen by artist Andrew Festing for the Royal Hospital In Chelsea. Photo: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images.
Visitors look at a painting of Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries on May 2, 2012 in London, England. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.
Rolf Harris’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Andrew Stuart/AFP via Getty Images.
Pietro Annigoni, Queen Elizabeth II (1969). Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.
Thomas Struth, Queen Elizabeth II & The Duke of Edinburgh Windsor Castle, (2011) © Private Collection. Courtesy Sotheby’s
Queen Elizabeth II looks at a newly commissioned portrait of herself in The Queen’s Room as she is given a tour of the Cunard’s new cruise-liner Queen Elizabeth II in Southampton Docks on October 11, 2010 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Chris Levine, Lightness of Being (2018). Photo courtesy of the artist and Sotheby’s.
Queen Elizabeth II unveils her portrait with Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Frances Fitzgerald, Minister of Justice and Equality Gov of Ireland. Photo: Jeff Spicer/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Cecil Beaton Queen Elizabeth II, Coronation Day (1953). Courtesy of the V&A.
Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy, HM Queen Elizabeth II (2002).
Andy Warhol, Queen Elizabeth (unique) (1985). Courtesy of Adamar Fine Arts.
Portrait by Lucian Freud of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images.
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Dorothy Wilding, Queen Elizabeth II, hand-colored by Beatrice Johnson, (1952).Photo: © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, London.