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Detail from showing paintings hanging on the wall of Buckingham House

The royal image across the Royal Collection

Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) c.1595-1600

RCIN 421029

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Nicholas Hilliard (c.1547–1619) was the preeminent miniaturist of the Elizabethan court, and painted many portraits of Elizabeth I. Such portraits became the standard likeness of the Queen, reproduced in paintings and prints.

This miniature measures less than 5.5 centimetres across, and was designed to be carried on one's person. These small portraits were portable, personal reminders of the sitter, and a sign of loyalty, fidelity or respect.