This elegant portrait shows HRH Princess Elizabeth on the police horse, Tommy, wearing the uniform of Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards, a rank she was appointed to in 1942. It commemorates the first appearance of Her Royal Highness on horseback at an official ceremony – Trooping the Colour in 1947. It was modelled by Doris Lindner the most gifted equestrian modeller of the century.
Doris Lindner began working for Royal Worcester in the 1920s when the company were taking on many freelance modellers. Princess Elizabeth on Tommy was Royal Worcester’s first limited edition study: one hundred were made in 1948 for sale in the USA and the moulds were destroyed. At the time this was a great risk but the limited edition was a huge success and the factory went on to issue many more limited edition figures. In the 1960s, Lindner designed an extensive series of limited edition champion horses and bulls for Royal Worcester. A half life-size bronze figure of Red Rum on Cheltenham Racecourse is probably her best known work.
The model was painted in full colour by talented Royal Worcester painter, Harry Davis. In 1948, in preparation for painting Princess Elizabeth on Tommy, Davis spent an hour with the Princess at Buckingham Palace making notes on her colouring and navy-blue ceremonial uniform. When plans were made for the royal visit to the factory in 1951, as part of the company’s bi-centennial celebrations, Princess Elizabeth recalled her meeting with Harry Davis in 1948 and told directors that she would like to see him again during her visit and this was arranged.
Artist: modeller Doris Lindner, painter Harry Davis
Materia: Bone China
Factory: Royal Worcester
From the Archive
Showstopper sponsor: D. Barlow
The City of Worcester is my home town. The Royal Worcester factory and its people were part of my childhood.