Queen Elizabeth II
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is pictured through a gap in a floral exhibit by the New Covent Garden Flower Market, which features an image of the Queen, during a visit to the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show in central London May 23, 2016. Reuters/Adrian Dennis/Pool

A £10 million (US$14 million/AU$20 million) fund raising campaign has been launched to save Queen Elizabeth I’s portrait. The campaign was brought out by the palace itself to buy the important image.

The “Armada portrait” depicts the British navy’s victory over the Spaniards in 1588. The painting was reportedly finished around 1590 by an unknown artist. The first owner of the painting was Sir Francis Drake. It has remained in his family ever since and has been passed down from one generation to the next. The present proprietors of the painting decided to sell.

Because of the decision to sell the painting, the Art Fund and British Museum responded by creating a Kickstarter campaign to generate the money to ensure that the painting would remai in British soil, the NY Times reports.

The portrait is unusually large compared to the standard painting sizes during its era. It also has a horizontal orientation. The picture shows the regal queen with her jewels, poised in front of her background involving two seascapes. One seascape shows the English fleet gearing up for battle. The other shows the defeated Spanish fleet.

In the painting, the Queen’s hand also rests on a globe. Her hands covered the Americas. The Queen was known to be very proud of having beautiful hands. Hence, this gesture in her portrait represents her pride and act of colonisation of the continent.

A lot of people may easily recognize the painting. It is one of the staple images used in school text books. It is also famous in the study of British history. The painting has been the inspiration of many plays and movies, the Guardian shares.

Organizers of the campaign aim to complete the money in a span of two months. If successful, the portrait will be placed in the Queen’s house.

This campaign is one of the Art Fund’s biggest and most ambitious to date. All kinds of public contributions, regardless the quantity, is welcome. It is said that foundations and trusts will more likely contribute and donate if there is good feedback from the public