God save the Queen's portrait. A man was arrested in England today for defacing a recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which was on display in Westminster Abbey, in what is apparently a Father's Day-related attempt to ask for her help.
Reuters' Michael Holden reported that the organization Fathers4Justice, which advocates for fathers who lose custody disputes, said Tim Haries tried to spray paint the word "help" on the portrait. Haries "has lost all contact with his children and felt he had nothing to lose by appealing directly to the queen," the organzation's Jolly Stanesby said. The BBC reported turquoise paint was sprayed "over quite a lot" of the painting, according to Lord Harris of Peckham, who purchased the painting for the abbey with Lady Harris.
The portrait, which was commissioned for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year and only recently went on the display, features the queen wearing state dress and looking solemn "in the symbolic setting of the abbey's sacrarium," according to Caroline Davies of The Guardian. Painted by Australian artist Ralph Heimans, the work was apparently a perfect fit for the abbey. "The Queen in the glorious space of the abbey standing at the very place where she committed herself to God and her people reflects powerfully on the years of service," Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, said at the time of purchase. "I am delighted that this portrait will help countless numbers of future visitors to the abbey to celebrate and give thanks for this remarkable reign." Except not so much right now.