Only a small number of painters were permitted to be inside Westminster Abbey for the Coronation. Among these was Terence Cuneo (1907–96), whose painting of the Coronation Theatre depicts The Duke of Edinburgh paying homage to The Queen.
Cuneo made a direct request to Buckingham Palace and to Garter King of Arms to paint the Coronation, writing, ‘I feel so very strongly that this is a subject which I could really handle’.
The Queen gave her permission and subsequent sittings were held with members of the Royal Family including The Queen and The Duke of Cornwall.
The high viewpoint of Cuneo’s picture reflects his location in the Abbey but also creates a sense of drama for the viewer. His painting was presented to The Queen as a gift from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants and hangs in Buckingham Palace.