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The internet reacts to ‘disturbing’ first official portrait of King Charles

15 May 2024 3 minute read
Artist Jonathan Yeo and King Charles III at the unveiling of artist Jonathan Yeo’s portrait of the King

Stephen Price

King Charles has unveiled the first completed official portrait of himself since the coronation – with critics calling it “disturbing and offputting” and likening it to a Ghostbusters villain.

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”.

“Privilege”

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 will go on public display for a month at the Philip Mould Gallery in London, from May 16 until June 14. Entry is free.


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Mawkernewek
6 days ago

Again this site uses the Lord title for David Cameron.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Yea, his correct title is gong farmer!

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
6 days ago

Mr. Chucky Windsor looks like he’s bathing in a bath of blood. Fitting, considering his family’s blood-soaked history.

May he drown in it.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

Looks like something you would stick your head through at a funfair only to be pelted with a wet sponge.

Riki
Riki
6 days ago

“Britains colonial past” as if we all had a choice. Ask the natives of Patagonia how Cymric colonialism differed from that of the Spanish, ask the native Americans how it differed from that of the English. Wherever we went, we were respectful to the natives, after all, why wouldn’t we be, our ancestors knew exactly how it felt. We shouldn’t allow our ancestors to be lumped in with that nonsense. It’s the same with the slave trade, don’t care want any one says, a slave would never have kept the name they were forced to adopt when they gained their… Read more »

CapM
CapM
6 days ago
Reply to  Riki

You’re wandering in fantasy land again.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 days ago
Reply to  Riki

I agree with most, not all of what you’ve said.

Patagonia didn’t have a “native” population and Argentina gifted the region to those Cymry that migrated, who were led to believe it was a lush paradise but it took over a decade to make it suitable for human habitation.

CapM
CapM
6 days ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

The colonisation of Patagonia by Cymry is a fascinating story of triumph over adversity. But it was colonisation by the appropriation by foreigners (the Cymry) of land which was already occupied by a native people (the Tehuelche) . The colonisation did not to any great degree involve violence but the end result was the same for the native people. The exclusion from the land they inhabited and the accompanying decline in their prospects and increase in mortality. The insistence that the Cymry that colonised Patagonia did so on vacant land is not just embarrassing but a shameful attempt at denying… Read more »

CapM
CapM
6 days ago

The Most High, Most Mighty and Most Excellent Monarch, our Sovereign Lord, Charles III, by the Grace of God, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter emerges from a river of Psychomagnotheric Slime.

Who you gonna call?

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 days ago
Reply to  CapM

You only need one word to describe charlie boy; Parasite!

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