An Official Portrait -  King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo

An Official Portrait - King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo

Buckingham Palace have released an image of the first painted portrait of the King since his coronation on the 6th of May 2023.

 The portrait has been created by British artist Jonathan Yeo and is a magnificent size, coming in at 8 feet 6 inches tall and 6 feet 6 inches wide. It was completed over four sittings, which began at Highgrove in the summer of 2021. Each sitting took approximately an hour with the King standing in position, leaning on his sword for approximately 40 minutes of that time. The final sitting took place at Clarence House in November 2023. 

The King is depicted wearing his Welsh Guards uniform which is a distinctive red and that colour has been cleverly abstracted from the jacket and taken into the background of the painting to create a very modern and contemporary piece.

I feel that the likeness of the King has been captured extremely well and there is an almost tangible connection when looking in his eyes. 


A single butterfly has been included in the portrait and looks to be landing on the right shoulder. This is to signify His Majesty's love of nature and close association with environmental causes.

For Yeo and for the King it was important that the portrait send a message to the viewer to show the kind of man he is, stoic in his duty, having served as Regimental Colonel in the Welsh Guards since 1975, yet The King is also an admirer of nature with a genuine and lifelong interest and concern about the environment and the planet upon which we live.

There have been many comments from the public on being shown the portrait for the first time and many of these revolve around the striking colour. I personally like the portrait very much and I think that Yeo has done an excellent job.

It is not unusual for the monarch to have several painted portraits, in fact the King's mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II is known to have sat for a total of 972 official portraits during her reign. 

Of course there are always unofficial portraits as well, indeed many of the artists in The Acorn Gallery stable have also painted Her Majesty and we are sure that King Charles III will have his fair share too. 

I wonder if we will see a return to the days when all public places, and indeed many homes too, will have a picture of the reigning monarch hanging on the wall?

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