King Charles Unveils First Official Painted Portrait Since Coronation

King Charles III revealed his first official painted portrait on Tuesday, marking the first since his coronation a little more than a year ago. The captivating oil artwork depicts him gazing directly ahead, set against various shades of red, pink, and fuchsia.

The royal family announced the unveiling of the painting, created by the esteemed portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, at Buckingham Palace through social media channels. A video clip captured the king pulling a ribbon, revealing the towering portrait. His reaction hinted at a pleasant surprise as the fabric fell away.

Mr Yeo, known for his portraits of prominent figures such as David Attenborough, Idris Elba, and activist Malala Yousafzai, initiated the portrait project in June 2021, when the king held the title of Prince of Wales. The painting showcases him adorned in the uniform of the Welsh Guards, a regiment for which he served as Regimental Colonel, with a butterfly poised delicately over his shoulder.

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.”

The Worshipful Company of Drapers, a medieval guild once dedicated to wool and cloth merchants and now focused on philanthropy, commissioned the portrait. Measuring 7.5 feet by 5.5 feet, it will find its place in Drapers’ Hall, the guild’s majestic headquarters located in London’s financial district. The hall already hosts a gallery featuring monarchs spanning from King George III to Queen Victoria, The New York Times report said.

The unveiling ceremony took place just weeks after the king announced his return to public duties. This announcement came nearly three months after he disclosed his battle with cancer, offering palpable relief to a nation anxious about potential upheavals within the British monarchy.

Queen Camilla is said to have looked at the painting and told Yeo: “Yes, you’ve got him.”

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