Queen Elizabeth last photo: Photographer who took last pictures of Queen said she was “frail” but in “good spirits”

The Queen was “frail” but in “good spirits” when PA photographer Jane Barlow took the last public pictures of her.

The former Scotsman photographer had been dispatched to Balmoral to capture the moment when the monarch met the new prime minister, formally appointing Liz Truss to her new role.

While waiting for the Conservative leader to arrive at the Queen’s Highland retreat, Barlow took some portraits.

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In true British style there was small talk about the weather, with dark skies and heavy rain overhead for much of the day.

Queen Elizabeth II, left, smiles at Liz Truss during an audience at Balmoral, Scotland, where she invited the newly elected leader of the Conservative party to become Prime Minister and form a new government,
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But Barlow, who has been a staff photographer with PA in Scotland for six years, said of the Queen: “I got a lot of smiles from her.”

Ms Truss was then formally announced and came into the room, “and she greeted her with a big smile”.

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With the Queen and the new Prime Minister in conversation, Barlow was ushered out.

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But she said since then “I’ve had so many lovely comments about the picture”.

She added: “It’s a real privilege to be able to take that picture, an honour and a privilege. It’s like that for a lot of our job.

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“I was there to photograph her meeting the new Prime Minister but for me the best picture was the one of the Queen on her own. And it has obviously become more significant now.”

Speaking about the Queen she said: “She certainly did look more frail than when I photographed her in the summer.

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“When she came up for Holyrood Week at the time they were telling me she would do one, perhaps two engagements, but she did quite a lot that week.”

That week saw Barlow photograph the Queen as she had audiences with Nicola Sturgeon and Holyrood Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone, and as she took part in a number of official engagements, including the Ceremony of the Keys, which marks the start of the week of Royal engagements north of the border and the Reddendo Parade, involving the Royal Company of Archers, which functions as the monarch’s ceremonial body guard in Scotland.

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Royal Mourning will be observed by members of the royal family, royal household staff and representatives of the royal household on official duties, together with troops committed to ceremonial duties, Buckingham Palace said.