Looking regal yet relaxed, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have been photographed for a specially commissioned set of pictures to mark her diamond jubilee.

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They show a side of the monarch that is familiar to the public – the sovereign in a sumptuous gown and full regalia in her role as head of state. Both were taken in December in Buckingham Palace’s famous centre room, used by the Royal Family to reach the historic building’s balcony overlooking The Mall.

In the image featuring just the Queen, on page one, the background is dominated by the Victoria Memorial, seen through a window, which commemorates the reign of her great-great grandmother.

The photographer was John Swannell, who has photographed many royals, including the sovereign to celebrate her golden jubilee in 2002. The former assistant to David Bailey, has also captured the image of the Princess Royal for her 40th and 50th birthdays and was commissioned to photograph the monarch, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Queen Mother for a set of stamps to celebrate the late royal’s 100th birthday.

He said: “The Queen and Prince Philip, I thought, were patient and very relaxed on the day, which I hope is reflected in the photographs.”

In the images the Queen is wearing a state dress of white silk, satin and lace with silver coloured sequins. It has a flowing scalloped edge, and was created by the monarch’s dresser and personal assistant Angela Kelly.

The sovereign also wears an array of sparkling jewels.

On her head is the State Diadem, a circlet of 1,333 diamonds, created in 1820 for George IV and worn by the monarch for the state opening of Parliament.

She is also wearing Queen Victoria’s Collet necklace which has graced the necks of five generations of royal women. Victoria wore the piece for her own official diamond jubilee photograph in 1897. Featured on the blue garter riband, or sash, are the Royal Family Orders of her grand-father, George V, and father, George VI. She also wears the Garter Star.

Philip is dressed in the Royal Navy ceremonial day dress of an Admiral of the Fleet, with a Garter Sash and Star and a ceremonial sword.

His medals, from left to right, are: Queen’s Service Order, New Zealand;

1939-1945 Star; Atlantic Star; Africa Star; Burma Star (with Pacific Rosette); Italy Star; War Medal 1939-1945, with Mention in Dispatches; King George VI Coronation Medal, 1937; Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, 1953; Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977; Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002; Canadian Forces Decoration (four bars); New Zealand Commemoration Medal, 1990; Malta George Cross 50th Anniversary Medal, 1992; Greek War Cross, 1950; Croix de Guerre (France) with Palm, 1948.

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