Photos have been published today of the Queen dressed in full Order of the Thistle regalia, standing alone in a remote part of her Balmoral estate. The picture, seen in the Daily Mail, sees the monarch standing next to a small stream called Gelder Burn.
The sky is dim, the grass green, sprigs of heather surround Her Majesty and rolling hills can be seen in the background. The regal look of the Queen contrasts with this background, and appears to show the isolation of the job of being monarch. The Queen wears her Vladimir Tiara, the green emeralds matching that of the velvet of her Robe of the Order of the Thistle, the Scottish counter-part to the English Order of the Garter.
The portrait is to mark the Queen’s 60th anniversary of her coronation in a book written by Alastair Bruce (who is a historical consultant for TVs Downton Abbey!) with photographs from Julian Calder and Mark Cator; it is a special edition of an earlier 1999 copy called “Keepers of the Kingdom” which was previously updated in 2002 for Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee.
According to the Daily Mail’s Robert Hardman, the book ‘celebrates the bewildering range of official titles and appointments that have evolved over more than a thousand years. Yet all of them – like the top job – continue to this day.’ The list includes the Royal Falconer and the Master of the Rolls, who is the second most senior judge in England and Wales and has been around from the 13th century.
The article then talks of how a family out walking were astonished to see the Queen in a remote area in such a state of regal dress. The Queen Mother was also photographed for the book, along with Prince Philip, in state dress fitting to their roles. Other pictures of the Queen feature, including a relaxed portrait of Her Majesty sitting behind her desk in Balmoral.