When James Bond first visits the office of Darko Kerim in From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming gives us a look around. Behind Kerim’s chair hangs an Oriental tapestry, and then on the walls on either side are framed images.

In the centre of the right-hand wall hung a gold-framed reproduction of Annigoni’s portrait of the Queen.

Pietro Annigoni's 1956 painting of Queen Elizabeth II
Pietro Annigoni’s 1956 painting of Queen Elizabeth II

Pietro Annigoni was an Italian portrait painter, who was commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers to paint the portrait above. The Queen is shown wearing  the dark cloak of the Order of the Garter.

Opposite, also imposingly framed, was Cecil Beaton’s war-time photograph of Winston Churchill looking up from his desk in the Cabinet Offices like a contemptuous bulldog.

Taken by Cecil Beaton in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street on 20 November 1940
Taken by Cecil Beaton in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street on 20 November 1940

This photo was taken just as the Battle of Britain had subsided, but with The Blitz well underway. Beaton was very familiar to Fleming, as a frequent guest of Noel Coward’s in Jamaica. Fleming again managed to work one of his friends into the plot of his book.

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