New portrait of the King unveiled

Published

The King unveiled the first official portrait completed since The Coronation, by renowned artist Jonathan Yeo.

Jonathan Yeo portrait in the Blue Drawing Room

The painting was commissioned in 2020 to celebrate the then Prince of Wales’s 50 years as a member of The Drapers’ Company in 2022.

King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo

The portrait depicts His Majesty wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards, of which he was made Regimental Colonel in 1975. The canvas size - approximately 8 1/2 by 6 1/2 feet framed - was carefully considered to fit within the architecture of Drapers’ Hall and the context of the paintings it will eventually hang alongside.

The King with Jonathan Yeo

Jonathan Yeo had four sittings with The King, beginning when His Majesty was Prince of Wales in June 2021 at Highgrove, and later at Clarence House. The last sitting took place in November 2023 at Clarence House. Yeo also worked from drawings and photography he took of His Majesty, allowing him to work on the portrait in his London studio between sittings.

Yeo said of the experience of painting The King:

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.

The King and Queen attended the unveiling, and were met on arrival by The Master of The Drapers’ Company, Tom Harris and Past Master, William Charnley. Together they joined Jonathan Yeo who said a few words after His Majesty unveiled the portrait.The artist spoke of his gratitude for being given, 'the opportunity to capture such an extraordinary and unique person, especially at the historic moment of becoming King."

Guests included other members of the Drapers’ Company, students and staff from the Drapers’ Academy, Welsh Guards and Jonathan Yeo’s family.

The portrait will go on public display for a month at the Philip Mould Gallery in London, from the 16th May until 14th June. 

The artwork is expected to be displayed at Drapers’ Hall from the end of August.

This isn't the first Royal portrait by Yeo, who has previously painted The Duchess of Cornwall (now The Queen):

HRH Duchess of Cornwall

 and the late Duke of Edinburgh:

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

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