King Charles unveils his first official portrait which has a hidden meaning | Royal | News

King Charles has unveiled the first completed official portrait of himself since the Coronation at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday afternoon – a striking rouge image of the monarch in military uniform.

British contemporary artist Jonathan Yeo was behind the painting, which was commissioned in 2020 to celebrate the then Prince of Wales’s 50 years as a member of the Drapers’ Company in 2022.

Yeo’s previous works include a painting of the late Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen – when she was the Duchess of Cornwall – as well as other famous figures such as Sir David Attenborough.

Charles is wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards in the large oil painting, which measures an impressive 8.5 by 6.5 feet framed.

The size was carefully considered to fit within the architecture of Drapers’ Hall and the context of the paintings it will eventually hang alongside.

The painting is also steeped in symbolism, with a monarch butterfly – one of the most endangered in the world – depicted above the King’s shoulder.

Yeo made a few words after the King unveiled the portrait and spoke of the butterflying echoing Charles’s metamorphosis from prince to King during the process.

In response, His Majesty joked that „it was nice to know he was a chrysalis“.

The renowned artist said it was both a “privilege and pleasure” to paint the portrait, adding: “When I started this project, His Majesty The King was still His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and much like the butterfly I’ve painted hovering over his shoulder, this portrait has evolved as the subject’s role in our public life has transformed.

“I do my best to capture the life experiences etched into any individual sitter’s face.

“In this case, my aim was also to make reference to the traditions of Royal portraiture but in a way that reflects a 21st Century Monarchy and, above all else, to communicate the subject’s deep humanity.”

Yeo had four sittings with the King, with the first taking place at Highgrove in June 2021 when he was the Prince of Wales.

Charles’ final sitting was at Clarence House in November 2023 and the artist worked from drawings and pictures he took of the monarch at his London studio between sittings.

The King and Queen were met by The Master of The Drapers’ Company, Tom Harris and Past Master, William Charnley.

The portrait will go on public display for a month at the Philip Mould Gallery in London, from the 16th May until 14th June, where entry is free.

It is then expected to be displayed at Drapers’ Hall from the end of August.

Source link