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Official portrait of King Charles divides public as new work of art called ‘monstrosity’ by critics

The unveiling of the official portrait of King Charles generated mixed reactions, with some critics labeling the new artwork a “monstrosity”. The painting differs significantly from the usual royal portraits of the past.

The eye-catching painting, predominantly red to pay homage to the vibrant red tunic of the Welsh Guards, was originally commissioned in 2020 to mark the former Prince of Wales’ 50th anniversary as a member of The Drapers’ Company. After the Queen’s death in 2022, this image took on a different meaning as it depicted the King on his ascension to the throne.




Emblematic of Carol’s transition to the head of state, the portrait also incorporates a monarch butterfly perched on the King’s shoulder, a detail proposed by the sovereign himself. As always, social media users were quick to share their thoughts, with one stating: “So King Charles unveiled the first official portrait of himself today. Hmm. Is it just me, or is there some sort of sinister aspect to it? “

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Another added his perspective on the color choice: “A portrait of #KingCharles in red: the color of blood shed by peoples oppressed under the boot of the British monarchy and its colonial legacy.” A third user posted: “What in the fiery depths of hell is this monstrosity? #KingCharles announces he is an Antichrist?”

Drawing comparisons to popular culture, a fourth user likened the portrait to a famous scene from Star Wars, jokingly commenting: “C3PO: Oh. They encased him in Carbonite. He should remain the monarch for a very long time then. If he survived the freezing process, that is.”

While the new portrait of King Charles has sparked some controversy, it has also garnered the admiration of several enthusiasts who appreciate the modern twist. One admirer expressed his approval, saying: “Simply amazing. Here’s #OurKing’s new portrait that captures HM’s gentle and caring soul. Simply amazing, really.”

Another supporter posted: “Simply loving this new portrait of #OurKing by @RealJonathanYeo and commissioned by #TheDrapersCompany,” accompanied by a series of heart emojis. A third wrote: “I love this portrait of #KingCharles, the color is rich and his image a bit odd. And the butterfly? An image of ephemerality and vulnerability (as well as a possible nod in his direction throughout life). commitment to the environment)?”