LOOK: Never-before-seen-photo released by King Charles as he pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s first death anniversary

The King has paid a moving tribute to his adored mother as the nation marks the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

In an unprecedented break with tradition, signifying how touched he has been by the country’s grief at her passing but also pride in a remarkable life of public duty, His Majesty recalled his mother’s ‘long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us’.

Initially Charles, 74, had planned only to mark his mother’s death – and his own grief-tinged accession – in ‘quiet contemplation’ at home in Scotland.

In doing so he would follow the same pattern that Queen Elizabeth chose to adopt for 70 years, marking her father King George VI’s death, at Sandringham in Norfolk, away from public gaze.

But in recent weeks he began to have a change of heart, having been so deeply touched by the global outpouring of grief after his mother died on September 8 last year.

In his message, Charles said: ‘In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us’ 

‘I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all,’ wrote King Charles.

It was signed Charles R and accompanied by a portrait chosen by the King that has never been released before to the general public.

The photograph was taken at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 1968, as part of an official sitting granted to the legendary Cecil Beaton – the last he was to ever undertake with Her late Majesty before he died.

It was shown at the National Portrait Gallery the following month but has not been on public release before now.

The King apparently selected the photograph because of the ‘lovely’ – and slightly mischievous – look in the eyes of his mother, who was 42 at the time.

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