The unveiling of King Charles III’s inaugural official portrait as monarch sparked a flurry of reactions across social media platforms

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The unveiling of King Charles III’s inaugural official portrait as monarch has sparked an inferno of debate and fiery reactions across social media.

Credit: X/The Royal Family

Commissioned by The Draper’s Company, the striking 8ft 6in by 6ft 6in oil painting by artist Jonathan Yeo depicts the King resplendent in the scarlet uniform of the Welsh Guards. His Majesty stands with sword in hand as a butterfly lands delicately on his shoulder.

However, it’s the liberal use of bold crimson red tones covering the canvas that has really got tongues wagging online. The Royal Family announced the portrait’s debut on their X channel, stating it is “the first official portrait to be completed since His Majesty’s Coronation” and will hang in Draper’s Hall, London.

But many were left questioning the avant-garde artistic choices. “It’s a bit…red” remarked one witty commenter, seemingly underwhelmed. Others were more scathing, branding it “Absolutely hideous” and questioning how such an “undignified” work could be officially approved.

The vivid ruby hues prompted some to bizarrely liken the regal portrait to the King appearing “covered in blood” or “burning in hell”. Inevitably, one pragmatic observer predicted “The conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this”.

Not everyone was a critic though. Reports suggest Queen Camilla is a fan, allegedly telling Yeo “Yes, you’ve got him” upon viewing the daring portrait.

The artist, known for depicting luminaries like Blair, Malala and Attenborough, seemed unfazed by the controversy. He quipped “If this was seen as treasonous, I could literally pay for it with my head – an appropriate way for a portrait painter to die!”

Image: Aaron Chown-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Yeo reflected philosophically that the work “has evolved as the subject’s role…has transformed” from Prince of Wales to King, “much like the butterfly” depicted.

Love it or hate it, this flaming portrait is certainly impossible to ignore. Anyone visiting Draper’s Hall after a late-night sojourn will struggle not to be stopped in their tracks by the blazing visage of the King.

Source: Vt

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