Kids put a fresh face on Queen Elizabeth

Illustrated self portraits by 200,000 children are projected onto Buckingham Palace to form portraits of Queen Elizabeth . The portraits were collected by the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts to celebrate the nation's children. (Reuters)

The Queen doesn't get much bigger than this.

Anyone walking by Buckingham Palace at night this week are being treated to pictures of the monarch as she's never been seen before.

It is, in fact, a giant portrait made up of more than 200,000 self-portraits of children aged 4 to 16.

The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts is behind the project to celebrate young people before the Diamond Jubilee and London's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2012-04-19T213646Z_01_AWI03"We had to get the Queen's approval, of course, because we're projecting on to the front of her home," said Jeremy Newton, chief executive of the foundation that is behind the Face Britain project. "I'm delighted to say Her Majesty loved the idea and loves the imagery. She had a little sneak preview earlier this week and gave it her full approval."

The images themselves are mixture of textiles, photos, drawings or paintings. They were mixed just so, producing, among other images, two 15x10-metre high portraits of the Queen. Then 24 video projectors are used to turn Buckingham Palace's facade into a colourful tribute.

This week, the images will be seen in 18 locations across the UK, as well as shopping centres and train stations. After that, the images will be stored in the British Library. In addition, several celebrities like Adele and Jamie Oliver did their own self-portraits which will auctioned off for the project online beginning May 3.



The clock is ticking down rapidly to the big Diamond Jubilee weekend June 2-5. And while modern technology will play a big part in the celebrations, it will be the touches of old-fashion that will be centre stage.

Here's a sneak preview of two: the oar-driven Royal Barge Gloriana, which will lead the thousand-boat flotilla down the river Thames and was launched this week; and the preprarations of the Queen's Royal Horse Artillery.

Photo gallery: Royal Horse Artillery saddle up

Photo gallery: Royal barge Gloriana launched


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How extraordinary. I wish I could see it in person. Long live the Queen.

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