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A specially commissioned portrait of a world statesman, being unveiled in London next week October 30), cannot be used for its purpose until after the death of its subject.

The painting of former Foreign Secretary and Minister of Defence Lord Carrington was commissioned to appear on the front cover of the forthcoming book “The Last Whig”, the Peer’s official biography by historian and former BBC Defence correspondent Christopher Lee.

It is believed to be the first occasion in modern times that a portrait has been specifically commissioned for a biography. Although the portrait is finished, the manuscript complete and already with publishers Penguin Books, the book will cannot be printed until after Lord Carrington’s death.

And that, according to the artist Fiona Graham-Mackay, who spent five months working on the portrait, could be some time.

“Lord Carrington is full of restless energy,” she says. “It took me five...

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