A PORTRAIT of the Queen by the renowned British photographer David Bailey has been released to mark her 88th birthday today.
The photograph of the monarch, smiling, was taken at Buckingham Palace in March and commissioned on behalf of the Government's GREAT Britain campaign.
The image will be used in activity to support the campaign, which aims to generate jobs and growth through highlighting Britain as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education.
The Queen is wearing pearls and a dress by Angela Kelly, who has served as personal assistant and senior dresser to her since 2002.
A Buckingham Palace source said: "Bailey's name was suggested by Number 10 and the GREAT campaign and the Queen agreed. The Queen agreed to sit for it in recognition of the work of the GREAT campaign."
Bailey said: "I've always been a huge fan of the Queen. She has very kind eyes with a mischievous glint. I've always liked strong women and she is a very strong woman."
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "The Government's GREAT campaign is promoting Britain as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education.
"The portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by renowned photographer David Bailey CBE, celebrates her 88th birthday and supports the aims of the campaign, to showcase everything that is great about the UK to an international audience."
It is hoped that the image will encourage overseas visitors to experience Britain's royal heritage. Britain's monarchy, including royal heritage and property, is one of the biggest drivers of tourism into the UK, generating an estimated £500 million per year from overseas tourism spend.
The Royal Family has given strong support to the campaign over the last two years and this photograph continues that support.
The campaign has delivered economic returns worth more than £500m to the economy with a further £600-£800m of returns forecast from activity in 2013-14.
It is the Government's most ambitious international marketing campaign and showcases the best of what Britain has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.
The initiative was launched by the Prime Minister in September 2011 and is a global campaign, deployed by Britain's diplomatic posts in 144 countries around the world.
Bailey, 76, has photographed an extraordinary range of subjects over more than half a century - actors, writers, musicians, film makers, designers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels.