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Queen's new portrait dubbed 'hideous,' 'like a bloke wearing a wig'

May 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM ET

In honor of the sixtieth anniversary of her coronation, the British Royal Mail decided to create a series of stamps featuring pictures of Queen Elizabeth II.

While most of them were previous paintings of the Queen from other eras of her life, it’s the new addition the group – a painting by Nicky Philipps – that’s creating plenty of controversy.

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To mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation, Royal Mail have unveiled six special stamps featuring portraits of Her Majesty, including this one.

The portrait, which shows Her Majesty in regal dark-blue robes surrounded by some of her beloved corgis, has been almost universally panned by critics.

Tom Sykes called it “hideous” and “a distinctly second-class effort" in a post on The Daily Beat's "The Royalist" blog.

David Lee, the editor of an art magazine called The Jackdaw, said it looked like “a bloke wearing a wig.” Ouch!

However, not everyone dislikes the latest portrait of the Queen. One of the commenters on The Royalist disagreed with Sykes, writing “I rather like it. She looks distinguished and, more importantly, her age.”

As for the artist herself, who got the commission after painting an extremely popular double portrait of Princes William and Harry, she admitted to The Guardian that “you can’t please everyone.”

Philipps also noted that her portrait is quite large, while the stamp only shows a small section of the Queen’s face.

“It's wonderful to be on the stamp and it's an honor,” she added.

Though Philipps is currently in the hot seat, she’s not the only painter who has had a tough time creating an artistic rendition of a member of the royal family.

An "unflattering" portrait of the Queen was unveiled earlier this year, and last year, Scottish painter Paul Emsley was roundly criticized for his portrait of Kate Middleton that supposedly made her look "old." Despite the negative comments, Prince William himself said that he thought the painting was beautiful, and it now hangs in London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Philipps’s painting will also get a second life in a museum: The Royal Mail plans to donate it to the Royal Collection.

From unique prints to fabulous hats, the British monarch’s fashion choices often show a sense of fun. Take a look through Queen Elizabeth II’s signature looks over the years.


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