‘A lot of smiles from her’ The secrets behind the Queen’s final photos

Queen Elizabeth II: A look back at her life in pictures

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The photographer had been dispatched to Balmoral on Tuesday to capture the moment when the monarch formally appointed Liz Truss as Prime Minster. While waiting for the Conservative leader to arrive, Ms Barlow took some portraits.

There was small talk about the weather, with dark skies and heavy rain overhead for much of the day.

But Ms Barlow, who has been a staff photographer with the Press Association in Scotland for six years, said of the Queen: “I got a lot of smiles from her.”

Ms Truss then came into the drawing room and “she greeted her with a big smile”.

Ms Barlow, below, added: “It’s a real privilege to be able to take that picture, an honour and a privilege. For me, the best picture was the one of the Queen on her own. And it has obviously become more significant now.

“She certainly did look more frail than when I photographed her in the summer.”

The Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields spent last weekend at Balmoral and had dinner with the Queen on Saturday and lunch with her on Sunday, revealing that she was in “really good spirits”.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland called her “fabulous”.

Dr Greenshields said: “She was in great form, obviously frail but absolutely on the ball.

“She was talking about her past, her love for Balmoral, her father, her mother, Prince Philip, horses, engaged with what was happening in the church and what was happening in the nation. When I left her, she was positive and I find it hard to believe in those few days things changed so much.”

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