“The Coronation Theatre” was painted in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty is portrayed in Westminster Abbey, standing at the centre of the Cosmati pavement, where she had been crowned 60 years previously. The mosaic pavement referred to by Shakespeare as “the floor of heaven” is rich in symbolism and was created to evoke the “eternal pattern of the universe”. It has been an integral part of the coronation ceremony since Henry III and is where every English monarch has been crowned for the last 900 years. The Queen is depicted wearing a state dress beneath the crimson Robe of State, which she wore at her coronation in 1953 and which she has worn to the State Opening of Parliament each year since. Her diamond necklace and earrings were made for Queen Victoria’s coronation, and were worn by Queen Elizabeth on the day of her own coronation.
The portrait was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in 2012, where it received a record number of visitors. Acquired by Westminster Abbey, it was first displayed in London for an exhibition at the Abbey in 2013 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee anniversary of the coronation. It is currently on permanent public display in the Diamond Jubilee Galleries of Westminster Abbey, opened by HM The Queen in 2018.