Queen Victoria Unhappy With Colour Of Son's Tie In Famous Painting, Documents Reveal

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What Queen Victoria wants, she gets.
What Queen Victoria wants, she gets.

Prepare to take sides: the portrait at the centre of Queen Victoria's royal spat with an artist over the colour of her son’s tie can finally be judged by the public.

The Queen commissioned acclaimed Scottish artist Kenneth Macleay to create a mini replica of an 1864 watercolour of her son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

Although the original was praised by many, Victoria requested that certain alterations be made, particularly the changing of her son’s tie from white to black.

Macleay obliged, but after painting the tie black he decided it would look better white and painted it accordingly.

The correspondence between the pair reveals that the Queen was less than happy with Macleay’s decision and insisted he change it back.

Exhibition curator Deborah Clarke said: "Queen Victoria cared about the smallest details of the portraits she commissioned and never hesitated to voice her opinion if an artist failed, in her eyes, to produce the most effective composition or to capture an exact likeness."

The resulting image is part of the Diamond Jubilee exhibition - Treasures from the Queen's Palaces, which is at the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse from 16 March to 4 November.

The 100 outstanding works have been gathered from the Royal Collection and include artworks, manuscripts, furniture, sculpture, ceramics and jewellery.