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King Charles’ new portrait vandalised

11 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Charles portrait. Image: PA. Defaced portrait image: Animal Rising

Protesters have plastered a portrait of the King with the face of the animated character Wallace from Wallace and Gromit.

Animal Rising shared a video of campaigners pasting Wallace’s face over Charles’s and adding a speech bubble on the painting by Jonathan Yeo.

The speech bubble read in capitals: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”

The portrait is on public display at the Philip Mould Gallery in London.

Animal Rising describes itself as a non-violent, people-powered organisation working towards a sustainable future where humanity shares a positive relationship with animals and nature.

The portrait

The portrait, by British artist Jonathan Yeo, was commissioned in 2020 to celebrate the then Prince of Wales’s 50 years as a member of The Drapers’ Company in 2022.

The portrait, which was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon at Buckingham Palace, depicts Charles wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards, of which he was made Regimental Colonel in 1975.

The uniform of the Welsh Guards inspired the colour red, which was painted over much of the portrait, as Yeo said he felt like this portrait should have more of a “dynamic and contemporary feel”.

A butterfly is hovering over the King’s shoulder in the portrait, which was added in by Yeo at Charles’s suggestion

“Mixed response”

The painting has received a mixed response online, with many pointing out its similarity to one featured in the original Ghostbusters franchise.

Taking to X, Jamie Reid wrote:” King Charles appears to be drowning in the blood of millions of Britons victims. The portrait is also similar to Vigo, the demonic spirit from Ghostbusters 2″

James Melville asked: “And how much did this rather bizarre portrait of King Charles cost the British taxpayer?”

Adding to the “disturbing” take many have had, X users are also pointing out what they feel are coded images in the work.


Other users felt the use of red may have been used to reflect Britain’s colonial past.

While some had a more favourable take on the “edgy” painting, other X users mocked the style, comparing the background to “the flames of hell”.


Yeo said: “It was a privilege and pleasure to have been commissioned by The Drapers’ Company to paint this portrait of His Majesty The King, the first to be unveiled since his coronation.

“When I started this project, His Majesty The King was still His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and much like the butterfly I’ve painted hovering over his shoulder, this portrait has evolved as the subject’s role in our public life has transformed.

“I do my best to capture the life experiences etched into any individual sitter’s face. In this case, my aim was also to make reference to the traditions of royal portraiture but in a way that reflects a 21st-century monarchy and, above all else, to communicate the subject’s deep humanity.

“I’m unimaginably grateful for the opportunity to capture such an extraordinary and unique person, especially at the historic moment of becoming King.”

Yeo has also previously produced commissions of Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Camilla, Sir Tony Blair and Lord David Cameron.

The portrait is on public display at the Philip Mould Gallery in London until June 14. Entry is free.

Find out more about Animal Rising here.

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16 hours ago

King Charles of England! – There, fixed it for you. Where is Kate Middleton? Baalmoral maybe?!

13 hours ago
Reply to  Riki

Have you seen what’s happened to George V in Melbourne lately?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 hours ago

To be honest. I think they’ve improved it. 😎

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
9 hours ago

That was vandalism pure and simple.
Doesn’t matter who’s portrait it was.

2 hours ago

Radical lefties are incapable of debate or discussion: that’s why they have so many tantrums.

7 minutes ago

When the portrait was initially unveiled I thought it had already been vandalised with red paint!!

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