Queen left perplexed by painting from German President: 'Is that supposed to be my father?'

Her Majesty's state visit to Germany got off to an awkward start

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The Independent Online

The Queen was left baffled by a painting of herself as a young girl which was presented to her on the first day of her state visit to Germany.

State visits are typically marked by an exchange of gifts between the heads of state. On this occasion, the German President Joachim Gauck welcomed the monarch with a portrait of her younger self riding a blue coloured pony, complete with flecks of yellow and green paint.

'That's a funny colour for a horse'

The painting, produced by local artist Nicole Leidenfrost, received a less than glowing appraisal from her Majesty, who commented: "that's a funny colour for a horse" and asked if the man holding the animal’s reign was supposed to be her father, George VI. When Mr Gauck informed her that it was indeed and asked "don't you recognise him?" she replied with brutal honesty - "no".

The painting was based on a photograph taken in 1935 when the then Princess Elizabeth was about eight or nine-years-old.

While her verdict may have seemed unenthusiastic, it was more generous than the opinions shared by some news outlets, with The Express comparing it to the work of a five-year-old. 

Philip meanwhile received an 18th century map of Europe and some luxury marzipan for the Duke and Queen to share.

The Queen and Duke gave the president Briefe Eines Verstorbenen, a four volume set of the early 19th century letters of German nobleman Prince Hermann von Puckler-Muskau.