King Charles III’s first majestic portrait unveiled

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King Charles III’s first painted portrait was unveiled after his coronation.

LONDON, May 15: The official unveiling of King Charles III’s first painted portrait since his coronation has taken place at Buckingham Palace, marking a significant moment in royal portraiture. Captured on a vast oil canvas by acclaimed artist Jonathan Yeo, the larger-than-life portrayal depicts the monarch adorned in the uniform of the Welsh Guards, standing sword in hand.

Measuring approximately 8ft 6in by 6ft 6in, the vivid red artwork radiates with symbolism and modernity. Yeo, renowned for his portraits of influential figures such as Tony Blair and Malala Yousafzai, crafted this masterpiece with meticulous attention to detail, aiming to capture the essence of the King’s persona.

During the unveiling ceremony, Queen Camilla expressed her approval of the painting, affirming that Yeo had captured the King’s likeness with precision. The portrait, adorned with a butterfly landing on the King’s shoulder, symbolizes metamorphosis and rebirth, reflecting Charles III’s longstanding commitment to environmental causes.

Yeo embarked on the portrait journey in June 2021, conducting sittings with the King at Highgrove and Clarence House. Despite the challenges of painting a figure of royal stature, Yeo found the experience both exhilarating and humbling.

The completion of the portrait coincided with significant personal and historical moments for the King, including his ascension to the throne and his battle with cancer. Yet, throughout the process, Charles III remained steadfast and engaged, displaying a sense of humor and curiosity that endeared him to the artist.

In his quest to create a portrait that transcends tradition and connects with viewers on a human level, Yeo deliberately eschewed formalities and distractions. Instead, he sought to convey the King’s resilience, empathy, and unwavering dedication to his role.

Commissioned by the Drapers’ Company, the portrait will join a prestigious collection of royal portraits at Drapers’ Hall in London, where it will serve as a timeless tribute to King Charles III and his enduring legacy. Through Yeo’s brushstrokes, the essence of the monarch is immortalized, inviting viewers to engage with the man behind the crown.

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