It gives me great pleasure to announce that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had graciously agreed to a portrait and submitted to sit for the artist, Richard Stone. In gratitude and with great affection, governments of the small Realm Countries of which Her Majesty is Head of State, including our own government, made a gift of the finished work to Her Majesty to mark the milestone on 9th September 2015 when she became the longest reigning monarch in British history. Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, honoured the High Commissioners of the Small Realm Countries, by attending a private unveilling ceremony at St James's Palace on 27 October 2015. The 6 ft portrait has since been accepted into the Royal Collection. Following is the text of the statement I made on the occasion on behalf of the Realm High Commissioners.
- Winnie Kiap -
"Your Majesty. We here are your High Commissioners to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We represent the small sovereign nations within the Commonwealth Realm and of which you are Queen and Head of State. Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
Other than New Zealand which had been autonomous since 1907 and fully in control of its affairs from 1947, our other countries represented here, gained nationhood in the 19 years between 1962 and 1981. Your Majesty had graciously consented to be Queen and Head of State of each one of them.
Your Majesty takes very keen interest in each of our countries and when it had been possible, made multiple visits to our countries. It could not always have been easy for you but you were never deterred. And our peoples have great affection for you to have taken such keen and intimate interest in each of our nation.
In gratitude and with great affection, our governments, your governments, agreed a gift to mark a milestone in your journey achieved on 9 September 2015 at 5.30pm when you became the longest reigning monarch in British history.
We are very touched that you should agree to a portrait of yourself, and submitted to sit for Richard Stone, our partner in this endeavour. We assure you that no pulbic fund has been expended on this gift. We are grateful to Richard Stone for producing the portrait which he refers to as 'a labour of love'
We present to Your Majesty this gift on behalf of our peoples, and our governments."