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Royal photographer behind final portrait of Queen recalls Her Majesty’s quip

The royal photographer who captured the portrait of the merry queen released on the eve of her funeral has revealed Her Majesty’s witty remark when he asked her to smile — saying he could immediately see that the image was “something special.” ‘ used to be.

Ranald Mackechnie photographed the late monarch at her home in Windsor Castle in May ahead of the platinum anniversary celebrations.

Speaking to Lorraine today, he recalled how the Queen boldly said, “Well, you can’t force me,” when he asked her to smile. She giggled when he replied, “Well, you can try.”

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Released ahead of Her Majesty’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, the unseen image showed the radiant Queen dressed in a pale blue dress, with her hair neatly curled.

She wore her favorite three-strand pearl necklace, pearl earrings and her aquamarine and diamond clip brooches, which were an 18th birthday present from her father George VI.

The royal photographer (pictured) who captured the portrait of the merry queen released on the eve of her funeral has revealed Her Majesty’s witty remark – saying he could immediately tell the image was ‘something special’

Ranald Mackechnie photographed the late monarch at her home in Windsor Castle in May ahead of the platinum anniversary celebrations

Ranald Mackechnie photographed the late monarch at her home in Windsor Castle in May ahead of the platinum anniversary celebrations

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Ranald – who said he is “very proud” of his eventual depiction of the late monarch – also took the Queen’s official jubilee portrait released in June to mark the start of national festivities for her landmark 70-year reign. .

Speaking on the ITV programme, he said the photo was ‘one of those moments where you know, once you’ve taken it, you’ve got something special’.

He recalled: “We had quite a relationship that recording, we started the other recording, and we were all done…and she arrived, and walked in, and we said ‘Hello’, and then just look at me and says, “What do you want?”

‘And I said, ‘Well, I want you to smile and look happy’. She looked at me and said, “Well, you can’t force me”, and I said, “Well, you can try”.

‘And she giggled. It was very light, and like I said, she’s done this before, so she makes it easy for you.’

Thinking back to his first meeting with the Queen for a photo, he said: ‘That was ten years ago at Buckingham Palace.

Ranald - who said he is 'very proud' of his final depiction of the late monarch - also took the Queen's official jubilee portrait released to mark the start of national festivities ahead of her landmark 70-year reign in June.

Ranald – who said he is ‘very proud’ of his final depiction of the late monarch – also took the Queen’s official jubilee portrait released to mark the start of national festivities ahead of her landmark 70-year reign in June.

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Speaking to Lorraine today, he recalled how the Queen boldly said,

Speaking to Lorraine today, he recalled how the Queen boldly said, “Well, you can’t force me,” when he asked her to smile. She giggled when he replied, “Well, you can try.”

“Your head is full of all the protocols…how to bend, what to do, so that can get you a little messy. But once you take the pictures, that bit takes over.’

After the Queen’s funeral, a weary King Charles will now ‘rehabilitate’ in Balmoral before resuming his duties – with France reportedly his first overseas trip.

The new monarch, who has entered a seven-day period of royal mourning, is said to have chosen the country as a surprise first destination after ties to Emmanuel Macron over environmental issues.

Rather than visit one of his Commonwealth realms on his first foreign trip, Charles is increasingly expected to head to Paris next month for a tour that could also include Germany.

The Foreign Office, which makes the final decision on royal visits, would like to use the monarchy’s diplomatic powers to restore relations with major European neighbors after Brexit.

The King and Queen Consort arrived in Scotland yesterday for a short break to mourn the loss of the late Queen.

But sources close to the monarch said he has been “strengthened” by the outpouring of public support in recent days, and his staff are now busy behind the scenes getting the Grandfather of the Nation project into full swing.

King Charles III is said to have bonded with President Macron because of their shared interest in the environment (they can be seen at a meeting of world leaders on Sunday)

King Charles III is said to have bonded with President Macron because of their shared interest in the environment (they can be seen at a meeting of world leaders on Sunday)

Sources close to the king say he is still grieving and feeling tired after a tiring two weeks filled with official appointments.

“Balmoral is a place where the king can see his family and read his red government boxes at the same time,” a source told The Sun.

“It’s a place where he can recover and get on with affairs of state. This is exactly what the Queen Consort said Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II liked to do when she paid her tribute.”

As well as creating a useful opportunity to forge ties with a leading European power, a trip to France could also help draw attention to a major African tree-planting plan that both Charles and Mr Macron support, The Telegraph reported.

While the King is unable to express his views on political issues, Mr Macron could host an exhibition on the Great Green Wall project before the visit.

The ambitious initiative aims to plant a 30-mile-wide belt of trees across the entire African continent to slow the spread of the Sahara and combat climate change.

King Charles and Macron were said to share a ‘warm friendship’, and last year they shared a platform at Cop26 in Glasgow to encourage what the royal family called a ‘precious opportunity’ to help save the planet.

The French president was widely acclaimed for his touching tribute to the Queen in English, praising her “wisdom and empathy” and adding: “To you she was your queen. To us she was the queen’.

He also confirmed that he had invited the king on a state visit to France, saying: “I have had the opportunity to invite King Charles to come to France when it is convenient for him.”

Sources close to the king say he is still grieving and feeling tired after an exhausting two weeks filled with official appointments

Sources close to the king say he is still grieving and feeling tired after an exhausting two weeks filled with official appointments

Each trip to France would be followed by a distant journey to a Commonwealth realm, it has been previously reported – with the king having to make up for lost time after Queen Elizabeth II was unable to travel for seven years due to health problems.

A visit to Germany after France would make sense given its status as a major European power. It was one of the last countries the late Queen and Prince Philip visited. They dated David Cameron, who was then Prime Minister at the time, in June 2015.

While there are no plans for overseas travel, Charles is expected to head to Australia and New Zealand early next year. He went to Canada in May but hasn’t gone to Australia since 2018.

Yesterday, the King, 73, and Camilla, 75, left Windsor Castle, where they were staying overnight after an emotional private funeral, on Monday, and raided RAF Northolt in north-west London at 10:30 am.

His police foremen took off their helmets and bowed as he boarded his wife with his wife, as the plane arrived in Aberdeen at noon. Although the ten days of national mourning are now over, the royal family continues to observe their own extended mourning period until next Monday night.

All their public appearances have been canceled and the flags of royal residences will remain at half-mast until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

In any case, the King and Camilla will spend the next week – and possibly even beyond – in Birkhall, the Queen Mother’s old home on Royal Deeside, whose estate is next to Balmoral.

It was part of a long-standing plan known as Operation Spring Tide. He will, of course, continue to deal with necessary state affairs for the next few days, but out of the public eye.

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