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Controversial portrait of King Charles sparks mixed reactions online

A new portrait of King Charles, unveiled at Buckingham Palace, has stirred a wave of reactions and debates across social media.

The painting, created by artist Jonathan Yeo, was revealed in the presence of the King, Queen, and Yeo’s family.

Yeo dedicated three years to the work, completing it over four sittings at Highgrove and Clarence House. The portrait seeks to reflect King Charles’ ‘life experiences’ and the evolution of his “role in our public life.” It depicts the King in the Welsh Guards’ military uniform, set against a vibrant red background with abstract brushstrokes. A butterfly, suggested by the King, is poised to land on his shoulder.

The portrait, Charles’ first official one since his coronation, has sparked widespread discussion. Social media users have expressed varied opinions, with some finding the painting ‘terrifying’ and others appreciating its break from traditional portraiture.

Comments on the royal family’s Instagram page include remarks such as, ‘It looks like he’s in hell,’ and ‘the worst official portrait I have ever seen.’

Memes and jokes have proliferated, with some comparing the portrait to a carbonite-frozen Han Solo from Star Wars and others to the ‘everything is fine’ meme of a dog in a burning room.

Despite the backlash, some have praised the portrait as ‘beautiful’ and ‘refreshingly different.’ Yeo himself described the commission as ‘a privilege and pleasure.’

The portrait’s intense red brushstrokes seem fitting in a time when the royal family faces numerous challenges.


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