WATTLE QUEEN BY SIR WILLIAM DARGIE

Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 1954, oil on canvas. Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection. Australian Parliament House

One of the most recognisable portraits in Australia, William Dargie’s painting of Queen Elizabeth II, affectionately known as the “Wattle Queen”, shows the young monarch wearing a Norman Hartnell gown with a yellow wattle motif. The painting was not just popular with Australians. The Queen commissioned a copy for herself which is now in the Royal Collection in London. Created over the course of five sittings at Buckingham Palace, the painting was commissioned by benefactor James P. Beveridge OBE, to mark the first visit by a monarch to Australia. The work was donated to the Historic Memorials Collection and is on display in the Members Hall of Australian Parliament House.

See this work, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.