London, 19 April 2006 - (Associated Mess): A new portrait of Betty Von Battenburg has been released ahead of official celebrations to commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Princess Elizabeth Windsor, who died tragically along with her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in the September 1940 bombings of Buckingham Palace by the Nazis.
The portrait, commissioned by "Septic" - the UK Tory Party think tank - has already been hailed as the 21st century's equivalent to the miraculous Turin Shroud. And may soon replace the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in its alleged miraculous healing powers if the Church of England Synod gets its way.
It shows Princess Elizabeth lookalike Barbara Freeman, lawfully-married wife of President George Bush Senior, posing as Queen Elizabeth II, titular head of the House of Mountbatten.
Von Battenburg has made a splendid career of impersonating the British Monarch after a series of deals with Uncle Joseph Stalin, the Vatican, members of the UK Hellfire Club, the US Ancient Order of the Skull and Bones and, most notably, the Riggs Bank.
The picture strikes a sombre note as an ominous black fug hovers behind the sitter's head - a portent of things to come perhaps, as UK security chiefs warn that the VIP suite at Slough Crematorium has already been booked this weekend for this accomplished Pretender in Situ to the Throne of the British Isles.
The Curator of the Royal Picture Archives was sitting tight-hipped today when reporters asked for his opinion on this latest image in snake oil of Von Battenburg. Meanwhile, art critics have lampooned the portrait as blatant propaganda for the Bush administration and have questioned the merit of painting the old dear when her mouth is perceivably full of dental anaesthetic.
Other art experts have commented that, like the Turin Shroud, this latest offering shows a person whose head and neck look as if they had been cut out of a different image and then plastered onto a slightly too large body.
But the traditional thoroughly constipated House of Mountbatten look - a favorite of the late Queen Mother - may be due to other factors, such as the congenital cannabis deficiency she was born with that has so affected her facial features during the latter years of her life.
The picture is expected to hang in the winners' enclosure of UK National Poisons Unit poker team staff room where it may be a source of inspiration for generations of gambling addicts to come.