An east coast artist has received the Royal seal of approval for his portrait of the Queen.

Earlier this year, during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and during the Covid pandemic, Easterly Artists member Geoff Litchfield produced a new, mixed media collage in the shape of the Queen’s silhouette - using the plastic lids from Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination vials.

Mr Litchfield, an artist from Lowestoft, has now had his work recognised with a letter from the Queen - with an "extraordinary" personal response received a day after her death.

He called the portrait of the Queen in vaccine vials 'Five Thousand Two Hundred and Eight Subjects' - this being the number of patients which that many vials would have treated.

After writing to the Queen with a photograph of the piece, Mr Litchfield congratulated her on her Jubilee and explained the rationale behind the work - but never expected to hear any more about it.

But having entered it in the new Easterly Artists’ pop-up art gallery and exhibition Letting in the Light, which opened on Friday, September 9, Mr Litchfield was astonished to receive a letter that same day from the Queen’s household at Balmoral.

Dated from September 4, 2022 it had obviously been posted before, but arrived the day after the Queen's death – with the letter commending him for his work and thanking him for "your thought" in bringing it to Her Majesty’s attention.

Mr Litchfield said: “The timing couldn’t have been more extraordinary.

"I initially wrote to The Queen as a matter of courtesy: to receive a personal reply and have my work recognised by her is something I can truthfully say I never expected.”

Mr Litchfield, who is originally from Leicester and has been an artist and teacher for more than 40 years, is now retired from delivering art education full time.

Living in Lowestoft, he is able to concentrate more fully now on his own personal artistic development and for the last five years his work has largely been in the field of collage.

'Five Thousand Two Hundred and Eight Subjects' is currently on display as part of the Letting in the Light exhibition in Lowestoft’s Triangle Market, together with Mr Litchfield's original letter to the Queen and her reply.

The exhibition is open daily, 10am-5pm, until Sunday, September 18 at the former Ladbrokes building on St Peter’s Street, Lowestoft, with entry free.

Run by its members, Easterly Artists is a not-for-profit collective of visual artists - with members all practising artists that live and/or work within a 20-mile radius of Ness Point, the most easterly part of the UK.