April 14, 2022
A rarely seen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by pop artist Andy Warhol will go on display next month—alongside portraits of Britain’s other ruling queens—as part of a special Sotheby’s exhibit for the Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks her 70th year on the throne, reports Forbes.
The special exhibit will feature portraits of each of Britain’s seven queens regnant—those who ruled in their own right, not as the wife of a king. The Andy Warhol portrait, completed in 1985, is on loan from a private collection. It was based on a photograph taken in 1977 to commemorate the queen’s Silver Jubilee.
Another rare portrait that will be displayed is the world-famous Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I from the private Woburn Abbey Collection, commissioned to celebrate the 1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada—and widely considered to be one of the finest portraits of the Tudor queen.
Sotheby’s also will display a selection of aristocratic tiaras and jewelry, rare books, manuscripts and book bindings with royal provenance from both British royalty and from European ruling families, which includes a special copy of Elizabeth II’s Coronation Bible, which was used at her crowning ceremony at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
The exhibit will run from May 28 to June at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London and will include programming including special talks, debates, and musical and drama performances.
Queen Elizabeth turns 96 next week on her birthday, April 21, although her official royal birthday is celebrated in June with the annual Trooping the Colour military parade. Elizabeth became the longest reigning monarch in 2015 when she beat out the previous record holder, her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who ruled for 63 years and 7 months.
Elizabeth is the first British ruler to mark 70 years on the throne. The year-long Platinum Jubilee celebration will culminate this spring and summer with a variety of events across the U.K., including other special exhibits and programs at cultural institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London, as well as concerts, parties, parades—and even a dessert contest.
Research contact: @Forbes