MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Coronation, a timely deal - and a nation with reason to ... trends now
Millions will remember with affection the 1955 portrait of the late Queen by Pietro Annigoni, which seemed to many to symbolise the freshness, hope and majesty which the then newly crowned monarch had brought to the country and the world.
When it first went on display, the crowds pressing around it were ten deep. In a time when modernist art was enjoying a sort of triumph, its cool, classical realism was refreshing, and in step with the idea that monarchy steadily endures – while fashions first blaze, then fade, alter and vanish.
Who knows how many tens of thousands of copies later found their way on to the walls of homes, offices, embassies, ministries, workplaces?
Those who grew up with it, when the world was younger and simpler, can now look at it and be reminded of just how exhilarating and inspiring the beginning of a new reign can be.
The Government's plan to distribute a new photographic portrait of King Charles may provide a similar opportunity. It will be no Annigoni.
Charles has become King after a lifetime of travel, training, thought and experience, and with a great store of accumulated wisdom
But in these feverish times of fast-changing governments and crises queuing up to happen, the King's well-worn solidity, steeped in tradition and experience, will be a useful corrective.
Our new King is not like the nervous young woman, by her own account 'green in judgment', who ascended the throne so long ago.
He has become King after a lifetime of travel, training, thought and experience, and with a great