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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

King Charles III: the official portrait of the king unveiled just before an important event

As Charles III travels to Germany this Wednesday, March 29, for his first official state visit as monarch, his very first royal portrait has been unveiled, as reported by the “Daily Mail”.

Little by little, the image of Charles III is being imprinted across the United Kingdom. While the country’s stamps and currency have begun their conversion from the portrait of Elizabeth II to that of the new sovereign, the first official painting of the king was presented a few weeks before his coronation scheduled for May 6 in Westminster Abbey, London. This Wednesday, March 29, a few hours before his first official state visit to Berlin (Germany), where he will first be welcomed at the Brandenburg Gate before attending a state banquet organized by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Charles III was thus revealed in a new light, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The husband of Camilla Parker Bowles was painted in oil by the artist Alastair Barford, who had also made several portraits of Elizabeth II. Exit the crown and scepter, the monarch was presented in a surprisingly modern way. Dressed in a simple blue pinstripe suit accessorized with a pink tie, the father of Princes William and Harry left aside his royal appearance. To accentuate this “modern day monarch” side, the artist also traced on the wrist of his illustrious model a bracelet that had been given to him by Domingo Peas, representative of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENAIE), symbol of Charles III’s advocacy on climate change and sustainability.

Agency / Bestimage
King Charles III of England, with indigenous leader Uyukar Domingo Peas at a reception to discuss the practical implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework at Buckingham Palace, London Buckingham Palace in London, United Kingdom, 17 February 2023.

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Portraying a king is a high-wire act

Alastair Barford, who studied painting in Florence, the birthplace of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, told The Times that he wanted to portray Charles III with a “sympathetic expression. He also said that it was important for him to capture the “warmth and sensitivity” of the monarch and “the empathy that shone through in his interactions”. An exercise that was not easy for the painter still marked by his portrait of Elizabeth II: “It was a terrifying honor. It is a great responsibility to paint a portrait of someone who means so much to so many people.”

Photo credits: AGENCY / BESTIMAGE

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