Hutchison was commissioned in 1955 by the Edinburgh Merchant Company to paint Queen Elizabeth’s portrait. This preliminary portrait study was the first of a number used for reference, to which Hutchison returned again and again during the painting of the final portrait. In the full-length portrait, Elizabeth is shown wearing the robes of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s Order of Chivalry. Interestingly, in this study Elizabeth makes eye contact with the artist, and consequently the viewer, whereas in the final portrait, in her official robes, she looks off to the right. Originally the study was on a plain white canvas, but the artist toned down the canvas colour so that it could be exhibited.