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King Charles III Unveils First Official Portrait Since His Coronation

An official portrait of King Charles III in the uniform of Welsh Guards has been released. This portrait has received mix reactions from netizens.

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King Charles III has unveiled his first official portrait since he assumed the throne. The portrait shows a  larger than life version of him in the bright red uniform of the Welsh Guards against a background of similar hues. It also displays sword in hand, with a butterfly landing on his shoulder. The painting was unveiled on Tuesday at Buckingham Palace.

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The portrait was created by Jonathan Yeo, who has also painted Tony Blair, Sir David Attenborough and Malala Yousafzai. Yeo began the portrait more than a year before Charles became king, with a sitting at the then-Prince of Wales’ Highgrove estate in June 2021. The last sitting took place in November 2023 at Clarence House, one of the king’s residences in London.

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The portrait is filled with shades of red, Yeo was reportedly going for something more personally representative of the monarch, in a style that breaks with royal portrait tradition. “In history of art, the butterfly symbolises metamorphosis and rebirth,” Yeo said

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But is it really a right, to portray monarchy as larger than life and something great, since its foundations are based on colonialism, for which the royalty has never apologised for. Some people even interpreted the portrait as demonic, satanic, disturbing, and like ‘he was in hell’. The portrait displays a bright red colour, which is usually used for representing violence.

The portrait was commissioned to celebrate Charles' 50 years as a member of the Drapers’ Company, which was set up more than 600 years ago as a trade association for wool merchants. 

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