A young artist from Dorset has described the ‘terrifying privilege’ of painting The Queen for his first ever commissioned portrait.
Here is how he came to prominence.
After studying a degree in fine art at Falmouth, the young artist was granted a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to study in Florence. The Leverhulme Foundation Study Abroad Studentship then supported him allowing him to study for another two years in Italy.
Alastair Barford, 28, was commissioned to undertake the portrait by the Illustrated London News to mark the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II becoming Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Alastair had just ten minutes to observe her majesty for the piece of work which shows her attending the Order of the Garter ceremony at Windsor Castle in June 2015.
What a privilege and an honour for the young artist in such an early stage of his career.
On 9 September the Queen will claim the title, as a reign which began 63 years and seven months ago when she was just 25-years-old continues.
During that time, she has watched as modern advances have transformed the world. See Alastair Barford's portrait at Daily Mail.
Just imagine the world events the Queen has seen in her 63 years of reign. As a young woman touring a foreign land with her husband, her father's death must have come as a shock—and changed her world.
I can't foresee myself coping as well as Her Majesty for the following years.
Just imagine you've been brought up as a princess with all the associated background and knowledge. But, you're enjoying a holiday, assuming your father would reign for the foreseeable future.
Well, not many of us are princesses. I was an ordinary young girl of ten years, living in Australia, when Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953. Here's a typical day from my memoirs:
After school, I sometimes took my sisters to the children's library. I loved it there, the smell of the books, chatting with other children although the boys were always pesky and annoying. Sometimes the assistants even showed cartoons upstairs through a projector which clicked and rattled, almost drowned out by the boy's yells. The old-style Mickey Mouse spoke with a high, squeaky voice, and Donald Duck squawked to Daffy, making their words hard to understand. However, each child found something that appealed, perhaps just the unique experience of seeing characters on the screen and drawing us out of everyday boredom.
If my circumstances changed and I was called on to reign England, I'd have been flummoxed—floundering in a sea awash with protocol and policies.
What would you have needed to change in your lifestyle if the same thing had happened to you?