During sittings in 2001 with Lord Cadogan, I expressed an interest in painting the portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh. Lord Cadogan had long been a member of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and offered to write to His Royal Highness with the suggestion that I paint his portrait to present to the Guild. By happy coincidence, the Duke was about to pass the mantle of Grand Master on to his son, His Royal Highness The Duke of York. My request was indeed fortuitous, as the Guild was seeking a means to commemorate the Duke of Edinburgh’s lengthy service over fifty years in the Guild.
The portrait was unveiled by the Grand Master himself in the presence of the Duke of York on 22 March 2002 and met with their general approval, both of them discussing its finer points with me. In turn, this happy occasion led to the commission to paint Prince Andrew in the robes of Grand Master.