Queen portrait released as UK set for celebrations

An official photograph of the Queen has been released ahead of celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

The portrait, by Ranald Mackechnie, was taken in the Victoria Vestibule at Windsor Castle earlier this year.

In her Jubilee message the monarch thanked people for organising events to celebrate her milestone, saying "many happy memories" would be created.

Millions are gearing up for street parties to mark 70 years on the throne over the four-day bank holiday weekend.

There are also a series of official events starting with Thursday's Trooping of the Colour parade and ending on Sunday with a Jubilee Pageant through London.

The specially commissioned portrait pictures show the Queen looking contented, sitting on a cushioned window seat at the castle which has been her main home for the last couple of years. The historic residence's famous Round Tower is visible in the distance.

Mr Mackechnie took two previous portraits of the Queen alongside the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George to mark her 90th birthday in 2016.

In her Jubilee message the monarch said: "I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm."