For several weeks, Her Majesty posed for the artist. Under strict orders never to speak directly to the Queen, he had to tell her lady in waiting various requests for Her Majesty to lift her head, just a bit, or to fold her hands just so. It was a barely tenable situation. On top of that, the Queen was in an advanced state of pregnancy, but he had been warned under no circumstances was he to portray his sovereign in anything other than glowing health, and no swelling of her belly.
“How am I to produce anything close to a masterpiece under these circumstances?” He cried pitifully to the Queen’s handmaiden.