Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
The royal family have been extremely busy lately. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are moving in together, Kate Middleton has been hanging out with the parents at Prince George’s new school, and Princess Charlotte has been working hard to ensure she retains her role as boss of the royal household.
They’re so busy, in fact, that the Queen is hiring for help around the palaces if you’re nifty with a needle and thread.
So it’s no surprise that when she is photographed, the Queen takes a few seconds to close her eyes in between shoots. But what no one was expecting was that a photograph of her resting would become such a phenomenal hit.
At the prestigious Sotheby’s Made in Britain event this week, buyers had the chance to purchase some heavily-price tagged British artwork. One of those was a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, entitled Lightness of Being, which broke pre-sale records.
Reportedly it was estimated to sell for between £50,00 and £80,000. However, the piece sold for three times that, fetching an eye-watering £187,500.
The most interesting part about it is the fact that the image was improvised. Photographer Chris Levine was commissioned for the portrait in 2004, marking 800 years of allegiance to the Crown by the Island of Jersey.
During the shoot the Queen was asked to sit still for 8 seconds at a time, and in between each snap she would rest her eyes. Levine was reportedly so awed by her still presence that he took the spur-of-the-moment picture, and it is sure to become an iconic image of Her Majesty.