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King Charles' first Official Portrait unveiled

King Charles' first Official Portrait unveiled

This marks his first official portrait since assuming the throne.
15 May 2024 1:03PM

King Charles III unveiled his first official portrait at Buckingham Palace on 14th May - the first since he ascended the throne in May 2023.

The reveal was made via a video posted on the Royal Family's X (formerly Twitter) account, showing King Charles pulling down a black covering to show the large 8'6" by 6'6" portrait painted by artist Jonathan Yeo.

Yeo started painting the portrait more than a year ago before Charles became King with a sitting that took place at the then-Prince of Wales' Highgrove estate in June 2021. The last sitting occurred at one of the King's residences, the Clarence House, London, in November 2023.

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
- artist Jonathan Yeo

Donning a bright red uniform of the Welsh Guards with his collection of medals featured across his torso, the portrait is a nod to the King's decades-long work as the Prince of Wales and his British heritage.

A small monarch butterfly can be seen hovering above his right shoulder, believed to symbolise Charles' reign and his dedication to environmental causes.

“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,” Yeo said during the unveiling.

“As a portrait artist, you get this unique opportunity to spend time with and get to know a subject, so I wanted to minimize the visual distractions and allow people to connect with the human being underneath,” Yeo explained on his website.

The portrait will be on display at the Philip Mould Gallery in London from May 16 to June 14 and will be displayed at Drapers' Hall across town from the end of August 2024.