All Brits should be offered ‘invaluable’ portrait of Queen for free, MP demands

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Brits could be offered a free portrait of the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee on the throne next year, the Daily Star has been told.

American-born Joy Morrissey MP is urging Boris Johnson to back the "invaluable" scheme similar to existing ones in Canada and Australia.

The Tory MP for Beaconsfield said the Royal Family was now "very little understood" by most Brits and the monarch is a "role model" whose portrait could spark "a thousand questions".

She told the Daily Star: "Knowing who our Head of State is and the works she undertakes as Sovereign on behalf of this nation, Her Realms, and The Commonwealth, is an invaluable and important piece of education that everyone in the nation should be aware of.

"I wish everyone would take a page from her playbook in how to conduct themselves in every day life, and perform the selfless duty she has undertaken for nearly seventy years. She truly is a role model around the world and an experienced resource that we can all learn from.

"One portrait can spark a thousand questions and create a talking point which can lead to an interest in knowledge of the subject."

The 40-year-old MP this week announced she was writing to the Prime Minister about the campaign in the wake of a row over Oxford University students voting to remove a portrait of the Queen from Magdalen College.

She said: "I hope that this portrait will further engage households, especially those with children in schools, to actively engage in education and take on a larger understanding of the place of Her Majesty and the Queen's role within the nation, as well as the other nations of which she is Head of State.

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"The portrait is of course a celebration of her Majesty's 2022 milestone, but more so it is a tool to further education within the household for both children and parents together.

"Royal education, including the Queen's role, duties, finances, etc, are very little understood amongst the larger majority of the British public, and it is further hoped that this portrait initiative will help to spark questions about Her Majesty, The Crown, and the monarchy, which should be taught to our children up and down the country."

She has been in touch with the palace and has applied for a Westminster debate application on the British Monarchists Society scheme (BMS) through the Table Office.

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BMS founder Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills said a new portrait photo of the monarch should be made available to every British household, subject to approval by Government and her Majesty.

Postage and packaging would not be included and free PDF versions would also be available, he said, cheekily adding: "We will be gifting one to Magdalen College at Oxford, so no need for them to apply."

The Indiana-born MP, who has dual British and US citizenship, said: "I have always looked up to the Queen as a source of 'girl power', class, style, duty, and statesmanship, even before I became a British citizen.

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"When I look at the portrait of Her Majesty in my home, or the new one I purchased for my office, I am reminded that I belong to something greater than myself, I belong to a nation that is unique in every aspect of its being, with a history more rich and treasured than many others.

"A portrait of our Queen in my home is a constant reminder that there are people in this world that will always look out for the greater good of a people and their wellbeing, unobstructed by the partisan lines of politics.

"An apolitical figure looking back at me who holds the government of the day to account for the wellbeing of her people which is truly awe inspiring.

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"It reminds me that as a British politician I am accountable not only to my constituents, but also my Sovereign. Her portrait gives me conscience to act by the oaths I took when I became both a British citizen and when I joined the House of Commons."

Commenting on her American roots, she added: "I may have been born in America, but my heart and mind is set in, and on the wellbeing of the United Kingdom.

"Americans do patriotism very well, however as British people we are more understated and less conspicuous with our displays of loyalty to out country. A private in-home portrait of our Queen is hardly a vulgar display of 'American' styled patriotism. "

The PM's official spokesman said: "There are many excellent ways people can show their support for the Royal Family."

No 10 has been contacted for comment.

  • BBC
  • Boris Johnson
  • Meghan Markle
  • Queen
  • Lidl
  • Students
  • Royal Family
  • Westminster

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