Photographer who captured last picture of the Queen: It was 'unposed'

‘She just looked up and smiled. She seemed very happy’: Photographer who captured the last poignant picture of the Queen as late monarch met Liz Truss recalls ‘lovely’ and ‘unposed’ moment with Her Majesty at Balmoral

  • Photographer Jane Barlow took last picture of the Queen on Tuesday at Balmoral
  • Barlow covered the Queen receiving Liz Truss as the new prime minister for PA
  • She said that the photo was ‘unposed’ and that the Queen ‘seemed very happy’
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

The photographer who took the last picture of the Queen at Balmoral said Her Majesty ‘seemed very happy’ and recalled her ‘unposed’ moment alone with the late monarch.

Jane Barlow, a Press Association photographer, had been sent to photograph the Queen receiving Liz Truss as the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister on Tuesday. 

The photo now has become far more poignant as it captured the Queen for the final time before her death on Thursday, just two days after the photo was taken.

In an interview Barlow spoke about the moment she took the photo, describing her few moments alone with Her Majesty. 

The photo was ‘unposed’ and taken just before Liz Truss arrived to meet the Queen after being elected the new leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister

Barlow said: ‘I was sent to Balmoral to cover the royal rota. I was there to photograph the Queen receiving the new prime minister, and just prior to the new prime minister arriving in the room, I had a few moments with Her Majesty and that’s when I got that picture.

‘When I came into the room with the Queen’s press secretary she was very smiley and then moved across the room into position and there was a wee while while we had to wait for Lizz Truss to be announced, so during that short time she did comment on the weather.

‘She did comment on how dark it was outside because the weather had closed in and she seemed in very good spirits.

‘Obviously she was very frail but she was very smiley and I got lots of smiles from her.

‘She seemed very happy, very smiley.

‘So then Liz Truss gets formally announced as she enters the room and she approaches Her Majesty for the handshake and obviously I was there to photograph that.

‘Obviously she greeted Liz Truss with another big smile and at that point I then move out of the room and that was just my very brief few minutes with Her Majesty on Tuesday.’

‘It was just a lovely moment while we were waiting for those few minutes.

‘It wasn’t posed at all, it was just a nice natural moment where she just looked up and smiled and now also all the more poignant because it is one of the last pictures that was taken of her.’

Jane Barlow posted the final image of the Queen on her Instagram just two days before she died

Fergus Mutch praised Jane Barlow on Twitter for taking the ‘perfect historic capture of the Queen’s final day of public duties’

Barlow posted the image on her Instagram two days ago with the caption: ‘The Queen waits in the Drawing Room before receiving Liz Truss for 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.’ 

Jane Barlow has 15 years’ experience photographing the royals as well as politicians. 

Fergus Mutch, the SNP candidate in Aberdeenshire West for the Scottish Parliament election back in 2021, took to Twitter to praise Barlow for capturing the moment. 

He said: ‘Saw @belperbarlow in Braemar last Saturday. She was a bit nervous about Tuesday: The Queen, incoming PM & herself in the room, taking the photo for the whole world.

Turned out to be a perfect historic capture of The Queen’s final day of public duties in her beloved Balmoral home.’

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