The Queen knows what she likes and it’s not this portrait given to her by German president Joachim Gauck:
Her first reaction – “That’s a funny colour for a horse” – was just the start of the awkwardness.
Gauck presented Her Majesty with the portrait to welcome her for an official visit to the country. The conversation that followed went something like this:
Queen: “Is that supposed to be my father?”
President Gauck: “Don’t you recognise him?”
To be fair to Gauck, the Queen is getting increasingly difficult to buy for. She already owns any swan that lands on the Thames, and all the dolphins in British waters.
And if you think the Queen might have been a little blunt, it’s worth remembering she’s been on the throne through 13 British prime ministers, 12 US presidents and eight German chancellors. She can act somewhat above protocol if she pleases.
The person who might be feeling a little short-changed through all this is the artist, Nicole Leidenfrost. She based her acrylic work, ‘Horse in Royal Blue’, on this photo from the Royal Collection:
It was taken in 1930. That’s “Peggy” underneath the young princess, a gift from her grandfather George V on her fourth birthday.
Leidenfrost said she found the picture on the internet and wanted “to make something really special for the Queen”.
“I always like to paint with bright colours and this pony is royal blue for a royal horse – that is the joke,” she told the UK Telegraph.
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