Buckingham Palace releases smiling Queen photograph taken in May | Queen Elizabeth II

On the eve of her state funeral, Buckingham Palace released a previously unseen photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, showing her smiling at Windsor Castle.

It was taken four months before her death, in May 2022, at the home where she had spent most of her time during her final years.

The matching aquamarine and diamond clip brooches she chose to wear for the occasion were given to her by her father, George VI, and mother, Queen Elizabeth, on her 18th birthday, and were among the most cherished in her jewellery collection.

She chose to wear them earlier this year on the platinum jubilee of her accession in February for the official pictures taken of her viewing memorabilia from her golden and diamond jubilees.

The two art deco-style pieces were made by Boucheron from baguette, oval and round diamonds and aquamarines. She also wore them when she addressed the nation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and for the diamond jubilee television speech in 2012.

The Queen, who is dressed in a dusky dove blue dress with her hair neatly curled, is also wearing her favourite three-strand pearl necklace and pearl earrings.

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