What is up with the new portrait of King Charles?

Miu von Furstenberg 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
King Charles III Unveils Jonathan Yeo Portrait
Photo Credit: PA Images/INSTARimages

In a historic moment at Buckingham Palace, King Charles III revealed the first official portrait painted of him since ascending to the throne a little over a year ago. The oil painting filled with vibrant shades of red, pink, and fuchsia, features the monarch in a direct gaze that captures the viewer's attention.

Crafted by the acclaimed artist Jonathan Yeo, known for his portraits of notable figures such as David Attenborough, Idris Elba, and Malala Yousafzai, the unveiling was shared on the royal family’s social media channels. The ceremony saw the king unveil the large portrait by pulling on a ribbon, which caused the fabric covering the artwork to fall, revealing the imposing piece and momentarily surprising him.

Yeo, who commenced the project in June 2021 when Charles was still the Prince of Wales, portrayed him in the regal uniform of the Welsh Guards—reflecting his former title as Regimental Colonel. A notable detail in the portrait is a butterfly positioned over the king’s shoulder, symbolizing his transformational role in public life.

Much like that butterfly, the king’s “role in our public life has transformed,” Mr. Yeo said in the statement released on Tuesday by the royal family. “I do my best to capture the life experiences and humanity etched into any individual sitter’s face, and I hope that is what I have achieved in this portrait,” he said, noting that to try to capture the king was “both a tremendous professional challenge, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed and am immensely grateful for.”

Commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Drapers, an ancient guild now dedicated to philanthropy, the 7.5-foot by 5.5-foot portrait is set to be displayed in Drapers’ Hall. This venue, located in the heart of London's financial district, boasts a collection of royal portraits dating back from King George III to Queen Victoria.

This unveiling comes at a poignant time, following the king’s announcement of his return to public engagements nearly three months after revealing his battle with cancer. The news brought a collective sigh of relief across the nation, eagerly awaiting stability within the British monarchy.


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Last update on 2024-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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