Unveiled: First Official Portrait Of King Charles III Since Coronation

May 14, 2024

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.

Artist Jonathan Yeo on his painting of King Charles III, the British Monarch’s first official portrait since his coronation just more than one year ago.

Why It Matters: The portrait unveiled by King Charles, 75, on Tuesday was painted to celebrate 50 years of the King being a member of the Drapers’ Company, initially a wool merchant trade association created more than six centuries ago and now a philanthropic organization providing grants. Yeo began his work on the painting in 2021 before Charles became King, and completed the painting across four sittings. The painting will eventually hang at London’s historic Drapers’ Hall, along with several other portraits of queens and kings.

The 8 1/2 by 6 1/2-foot painting features the King wearing the red Welsh Guards uniform with a butterfly hovering above one of his shoulders. Yeo said the butterfly – which references King Charles’ long-standing environmental interest – was the King’s idea: “I said, when schoolchildren are looking at this in 200 years and they’re looking at the who’s who of the monarchs, what clues can you give them? He said, ‘what about a butterfly landing on my shoulder?'”

Read More: King Charles III unveils his first official portrait since his coronation (The Associated Press)

King Charles: First official portrait since coronation is unveiled, painted by Jonathan Yeo (BBC)

Photo Credit: The Royal Family / Jonathan Yeo via Instagram

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas