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Conversation piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor

17 of 825 portraits of Queen Elizabeth II

Conversation piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor, by Sir (Herbert) James Gunn, 1950 - NPG 3778 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Conversation piece at the Royal Lodge, Windsor

by Sir (Herbert) James Gunn
oil on canvas, 1950
59 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1511 mm x 1003 mm)
Commissioned, 1950
Primary Collection
NPG 3778


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King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II), and her sister Princess Margaret. The Royal Family remained in London throughout the war, and when Buckingham Palace received a direct hit the Queen said 'now we can look the East End in the face'. Determination to share in the fate of the nation increased the popularity of the monarchy. The informality of the presentation, for which Queen Elizabeth was responsible, was entirely new: set at Royal Lodge, where the family's life was informal, and at tea-time, an accessible and very British occasion.
Gunn, who had been chosen by the King and Queen for the commission, recalled the difficulty of placing the corgi, moving it about on the canvas in a paper cut-out. Commissioned to hang in a public collection, its domestic character demonstrates changes in perceptions of the monarchy.

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