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United Kingdom: the first official portrait of King Charles III unveiled

A red background spilling over the silhouette of the uniformed king: Buckingham Palace on Tuesday unveiled the first official portrait of Charles III since his coronation, painted by the famous British artist Jonathan Yeo.

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United Kingdom: the first official portrait of King Charles III unveiled

A red background spilling over the silhouette of the uniformed king: Buckingham Palace on Tuesday unveiled the first official portrait of Charles III since his coronation, painted by the famous British artist Jonathan Yeo. The painting shows the sovereign from the front, dressed in the uniform of the Welsh Guards, a regiment of which he has been colonel since 1975, and whose red color serves as the motif for the entire canvas.

Its author, Jonathan Yeo, is a British artist known for his numerous portraits of personalities, such as former prime ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron, actors and actresses Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and even Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

He has already painted portraits of several members of the royal family in the past such as Camilla, before she became queen, or Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. The canvas, measuring approximately 2.6 meters by 2 meters, was commissioned in 2020 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Charles' membership in the Drapers' Company, one of London's historic trading guilds.

The king posed four times for the painter, the last of which was in November 2023, a little over a year after he ascended the throne. To his initial project, Jonathan Yeo finally added a small butterfly fluttering on one of the sovereign's shoulders at the latter's request, to illustrate "his passion for nature and the environment", the artist recounted in his speech delivered to the occasion of the presentation of his work on Tuesday at Buckingham Palace.

“When I began this project, His Majesty the King was still the Prince of Wales, and like the butterfly I painted flying over his shoulder, this portrait has evolved as the function of its object has evolved in our public life,” declared the painter in a press release. “I do my best to capture the life experiences etched in each person’s face. In this case, my aim was also to reference the traditions of royal portraiture but in a way that reflects a 21st century monarchy and, above all, to communicate the deep humanity of the king, he added. . The portrait will be exhibited for several weeks in a London gallery, before moving to Drapers' Hall, the headquarters of the Drapers' Company in London.

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