Thursday 16 May 2024

First Portrait Of King Charles III Mocked On Social Media: ‘Looks Like He’s Going Straight To Hell’

 Buckingham Palace unveiled the first official portrait of King Charles III to mixed reactions from the public. 

The 8.5 by 6.5-foot painting was done by British artist Jonathan Yeo, who is also responsible for depicting other high-profile subjects like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, actress Nicole Kidman, and education activist Malala Yousafzai.

King Charles is shown wearing the uniform of the Welsh guards. Abutterfly is approaching his shoulder. The most striking aspect of the portrait is the swirling red background, which critics say is their main concern.

“It looks like he’s bathing in blood,” one popular comment on social media said.

Another Instagram commenter wrote, “I would have loved this if this was any other color than red. He really captured the essence of him in the face, but the harshness of the red doesn’t match the softness of his expression.” 

“Looks like he’s going straight to hell,” a third social media user wrote.

“All the blood spilled around the world under the Royal Family’s command,” a fourth commenter echoed.

Yeo told the BBC that King Charles’s wife, Camilla, was a fan of the finished product. “Yes you’ve got him,” she allegedly said after seeing the painting. 

The artist said King Charles was “mildly surprised by the strong color, but otherwise he seemed to be smiling approvingly.” 

“I do my best to capture the life experiences and humanity etched into any individual sitter’s face, and I hope that is what I have achieved in this portrait,” Yeo said in a statement shared by the royal family. “To try and capture that for His Majesty The King, who occupies such a unique role, was both a tremendous professional challenge, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed and am immensely grateful for.”


Yeo said on his website that he was inspired by the Welsh Guards’ red uniform. 

“The vivid color of the glazes in the background echo the uniform’s bright red tunic, not only resonating with the royal heritage found in many historical portraits but also injecting a dynamic, contemporary jolt into the genre with its uniformly powerful hue, providing a modern contrast to more traditional depictions.”

“The butterfly approaching King Charles’s shoulder in the portrait adds a layer of narrative depth, symbolizing both his known advocacy for environmental causes and his personal transformation,” Yeo added.

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