The Easter Eggs You Missed In Prince Philip’s Final PortraitJune 24, 2021
“Prince Philip: A Celebration,” an exhibit at Windsor Castle commemorating the Duke of Edinburgh’s 99 years of life, debuts June 24, per People. The exhibit’s centerpiece, naturally, will be a portrait of the late prince by Australian-British royal painter Ralph Heimans, for whom Philip reportedly sat for one hour in 2017, according to Insider. The outlet noted that was also the year Philip retired from public duties. Despite Prince Philip spending much of his retirement at the royals’ Sandringham Estate and his wife Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, per the Daily Mail, the coronavirus pandemic quarantine reunited them. The pair spent much of quarantine self-isolating together at Windsor Castle, where Philip died on April 9 (via People).
“He has this charisma which is quite striking,” Heimans told Insider of his time with Philip spent during the duke’s portrait. “His sharp wit, humor, and his forthright nature are all qualities you can imagine but when you meet him you really do get a flavor.” Now “Prince Philip: A Celebration” will display Heimans’ work and allow others to see the prince through his eyes. Here are three “hidden” details in the portrait some might miss.
Prince Philip's final portrait is full of Easter eggs
Prince Philip’s formal portrait is on display at “Prince Philip: A Celebration” (one of his final formal portraits, according to People), and it’s straightforward on the surface — but full of Easter eggs, as the artist, Ralph Heimans, revealed to Insider.
The prince stands in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle, hands crossed behind his back and shoulders slightly forward, in formal regal attire as the Royal Collection Trust’s Instagram post shows. What’s less obvious, Heimans explained, is the Tapestry Room at the end of the corridor — the room in which Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, and his maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria, were born. Coincidentally, the painter observed, this is also where Philip “stay[ed] when he … lived at Windsor Castle. And now it turns out that he has also passed away there.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Danish heritage is represented in the painting, as the royal’s depicted wearing the Order of the Elephant, “the highest honor in Denmark,” according to People. As the outlet noted, Philip conceded his title as a prince of Greece and Denmark before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II.
Tiny-but-significant details are everywhere in the portrait, like his “coronation robe and coronet, portraits and the Chair of Estate made for Prince Philip … to accompany the queen’s Chair of Estate in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace,” per People. After all, nothing celebrates a royal like a chair in any given “Throne Room.”
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