The First Official Portrait Of King Charles Unveiled


Following the Coronation of Charles and Camilla just over a year ago, the first official portrait of King Charles is complete

Unveiled yesterday at Buckingham Palace, the painting is a rather abstract portrayal of our new king and was created by renowned portrait artist Jonathan Yeo.

The King is seen wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards against a hazy red backdrop. This choice of outfit reflects his position as Regimental Colonel in the Welsh Guards, which he has occupied since 1975.

The new painting of King Charles measures 8ft 6in by 6ft 6in.

A monarch butterfly floats by King Charles’ right shoulder – an additional idea of his own, intended to reflect the change he feels he’s undergone since being crowned.

“In [the] history of art, the butterfly symbolises metamorphosis and rebirth,” Jonathan Yeo explains. “I said, when schoolchildren are looking at this in 200 years and they’re looking at the who’s who of the monarchs, what clues can you give them?

“He [King Charles] said ‘what about a butterfly landing on my shoulder?'”.

Jonathan Yeo also painted Camilla’s portrait back in 2014.

Queen Camilla whole-heartedly approves of the portrait. She is reported to have taken one look and said: “Yes, you’ve got him.”

King Charles is not the first famous portrait Jonathan Yeo has been commissioned to paint. The popular artist has also captured Queen Camilla prior to her coronation and Malala Yousafzai, while also producing a study sketch of Sir David Attenborough.

Portrait of activist Malala Yousafzai also by Jonathan Yeo.

King Charles’s reaction at the unveiling appeared positive as he turned to Jonathan Yeo and said, “I do congratulate you – it’s fantastic!” He did also get a sneak peek half-way through the painting process, which provided the artist a sense of his feelings towards it.

“He was initially mildly surprised by the strong colour but otherwise he seemed to be smiling approvingly,” said the artist. “If this was seen as treasonous, I could literally pay for it with my head, which would be an appropriate way for a portrait painter to die – to have their head removed!”

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Hannah McLaren

I've worked at DC Thomson for six years! I began as an intern at My Weekly and The Scots Magazine, which was extended by a few months to help out at The People's Friend. I then covered maternity as Celebrity Editor for My Weekly, before I became Multimedia Journalist at The Scots Magazine. Currently I'm writing digital content across each title.