New clue to identity of royal painter

The mystery over the identity of the painter of two celebrated portraits of Queen Elizabeth I is closer to being solved after scientists discovered they were painted on wood from the same two trees.

The 16th century paintings have long been thought to be the work of Nicholas Hilliard but it has never been proved.

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Researchers at the National Portrait Gallery, in London, analysed the wooden panels they were painted on and discovered they came from the same two oak trees which probably grew near the Baltic.

They will be shown together for the first time in more than 25 years, for one week only, at the National Portrait Gallery in London from today .