ACCLAIMED photographer Harry Benson has taken a new portrait of the Queen, describing it as "truly a highlight" of his career.

Commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Benson captured the monarch in the Audience Room at Buckingham Palace where she usually holds her weekly meeting with the Prime Minister.

Dressed in violet, the Queen is also wearing a gold and diamond brooch featuring thistles.

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Glasgow-born Benson has spent more than 50 years behind the lens and photographed every American president since Eisenhower and worked with countless celebrities. His 1964 image of The Beatles having a pillow fight in a Paris hotel room has become one of the world's most-recognised images of the pop group.

Benson said: "I first photographed Her Majesty in Scotland opening a coal mine in 1957, and thereafter visiting towns in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Western Highlands, and later in London at the opening of Parliament.

"It was always an honour and a privilege, but the most memorable was when I had the opportunity to take an official portrait in Buckingham Palace for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

"I was given the opportunity of selecting the colour and dress that the Queen would wear for the portrait. My teachers at the Eastwood School in Glasgow would be amazed."

Christopher Baker, director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, described the work as "respectful and thoughtful".