When I became Provost of Eton College, my great predecessor Sir Eric Anderson gave me a piece of advice. “Get yourself painted before you retire. Then you won’t look so old!” So that is what has happened.
Provosts have had their portraits painted for centuries. Sir Eric was the first to be painted with Poppy, his wife.
The College suggested the same thing for Caroline and me. The painter, Howard Morgan, had a good idea. Caroline’s great-great-uncle was M.R.James, Provost between the wars and famous ghost story writer. “Why not let me paint you in front of his picture?” suggested Howard, and he did so. I think the result, which will be put away in a cupboard until Caroline and I leave, is very successful. And we are delighted to have Monty James looking over our shoulders!