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First portrait of King Charles released - with monarch wearing indigenous bracelet

Portrait of King Charles III  (Alastair Barford © Illustrated London News)
Portrait of King Charles III (Alastair Barford © Illustrated London News)

King Charles III wears a blue suit in the first commissioned portrait to be unveiled since he became monarch.

It’s a more personal and intimate image of the King, who is painted by artist Alastair Barford in a suit rather than ceremonial robes.

He wears a white shirt, pink tie and pocket square. His hand rests casually in his suit pocket, showing off a bracelet gifted to him by Amazonian indigenous leader Domingo Peas.

It was included as a symbol of the King’s advocacy on climate change and sustainability.

Mr Barford completed the portrait in two weeks after studying the King at a reception at Buckingham Palace in February to promote biodiversity. The King was gifted the braclet at the event.


The artist, 36, said he wanted to capture the monarch’s “warmth and sensitivity” and it was important to portray a “sympathetic expression”, The Times reports.

The protrait is not an official painting, but has been commissioned by Illustrated London News to feature on the front cover of it special Coronation Edition.

Portrait of King Charles III (lastair Barford © Illustrated London News)
Portrait of King Charles III (lastair Barford © Illustrated London News)

Mr Barford was also commissioned by Illustrated London News to paint the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, to mark the Queen becoming Britain’s longest reigning monarch. It was the artist’s first portrait commission.

The artwork is more formal and depicts Elizabeth in Robes of the Order of the Garter as she attends the Garter Service at Windsor.

Mr Barford is a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) recipient. He used funding from the scholarship to study portrait drawing and painting in Florence at the renowned studio of artist Charles H Cecil in 2012.

This was his first portrait commission. His work is now showcased in a variety of private and public collections and he teaches at Sarum Studios in Salisbury.

The portrait has been released as the King and Queen Consort are expected to arrive in Germany after the couple’s visit to France was postponed due to widespread protests over pension reforms.

Charles and Camilla were due to begin the first state visit of the King’s reign on Sunday but the trip was shelved after a night of violent demonstrations across France that led to hundreds of arrests and police being injured.

President Emmanuel Macron said the four-day state visit was likely to be rescheduled for the beginning of summer, after Downing Street confirmed the French leader had asked the British Government to postpone the trip.

Charles and Camilla were due to travel from France to Germany for a state visit from Wednesday to Friday, and the visit to Berlin will proceed as planned.

France has faced an eruption of violent demonstrations over forced-through pension reforms.

Sylvie Bermann, who served as Paris’s ambassador to Britain between 2014 and 2017, said Mr Macron wanted the visit to go ahead “until the last minute” before realising the situation was untenable.

She said a planned state banquet at the Palace of Versailles for Charles and Camilla would “not have given a good image”.

Meanwhile plans are underway for the King’s Coronation on May 6.

Britons are being invited to gather with their neighbours and take part in the thousands of Big Lunch street parties that will mark Charles’s formal accession to the throne.

A public holiday has been set for May 8.

The Illustrated Coronation Edition is published by Illustrated London News and is on sale at supermarkets and retailers and​m. Illustrated London News is a content marketing agency.