King Charles smiling in suit

King Charles’ first official portrait vandalised: ’Thank heavens, one of the worst portraits I’ve ever seen’

The monarch unveiled the painting in May

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An official King Charles portrait has been vandalised this week just weeks after the monarch unveiled it.

The all red portrait sparked very divided reactions when it was unveiled in May. The painting, by artist Jonathan Yeo, showed the monarch in his uniform of the Welsh Guards.

It’s the first official portrait of the King since his coronation last May. However, now, the painting has been vandalised by an animal rights activist group.

King Charles waving and smiling in blue suit
The portrait for King Charles sparked mixed reactions last month (Credit: Cover Images)

King Charles portrait vandalised

Two men from Animal Rising were seen pasting an image of Wallace from the series Wallace and Gromit over the King’s face.

A speech bubble was also added which read: “No cheese Gromit, look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”

Animal Rising said two supporters entered the Philip Mould gallery – where the portrait was on display – on Tuesday at midday.

The protest was to highlight the group’s “damning investigation” into 45 RSPCA “assured” farms.

King Charles portrait unveiled at Buckingham Palace
The King unveiled the new portrait at Buckingham Palace in May (Credit: ITV News)

The group added that the demonstration was a “comic redecoration”. They also said the posters were affixed using water sprayed on to the back so they could be easily removed.

They also said the “light-hearted action played on the King’s love of Wallace and Gromit”.

Daniel Juniper, a former early years practitioner and one of those involved, said: “With King Charles being such a big fan of Wallace and Gromit, we couldn’t think of a better way to draw his attention to the horrific scenes on RSPCA Assured farms.

“Even though we hope this is amusing to His Majesty, we also call on him to seriously reconsider if he wants to be associated with the awful suffering across farms being endorsed by the RSPCA.

Animal Rising statement

“Charles has made it clear he is sensitive to the suffering of animals in UK farms; now is the perfect time for him to step up and call on the RSPCA to drop the Assured Scheme and tell the truth about animal farming.”

Meanwhile, the RSPCA – which King Charles is patron of – have since spoken out. A statement read: “We are shocked by this vandalism of His Majesty (the) King, our patron’s, portrait.

“We welcome scrutiny of our work, but we cannot condone illegal activity of any kind. Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard rescuing, caring for, and speaking up for animals.

“Animal Rising’s sustained activity is distracting from our focus on the work that really matters – helping thousands of animals every day.”

King Charles in red robes for royal engagement
A King Charles portrait was vandalised on Tuesday (Credit: Cover Images)

RSPCA statement on King portrait

It added: “We remain confident that our RSPCA Assured scheme is the best way to help farmed animals right now, while campaigning to change their lives in the future.

“RSPCA Assured is acting swiftly to look into these allegations. After receiving the footage on Sunday, RSPCA Assured has launched an immediate, urgent investigation. We have responded openly and transparently to Animal Rising’s challenges to our farming work.”

That’s a shame for the artist too.

Royal fans have shared their thoughts on the vandalisation. One person said: “Can I just say if I were King Charles I would say quietly: Thank heavens. One of the worst portraits I have ever seen.”

Another wrote: “To be fair, it looks a lot better now.”

However, someone else said: “So sad! I do have a question though is this the only copy? That’s a shame for the artist too.”

Another agreed, writing: “What an insult to the artist.”

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Read more: King Charles ‘devastated’ as he misses wedding of the Duke of Westminster: ‘That will be a bitter pill to swallow’

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)

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