King's portrait for public buildings across the UK unveiled

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
 – A new official portrait of the king that will hang in public buildings across the UK has been unveiled under an £8m government-funded scheme.

The Cabinet Office announced last year that it had set aside funds to offer every public body local councils, courts, schools, police forces, and fire and rescue services, a free portrait of King Charles.

The photograph of the monarch in full regalia inside Windsor Castle was taken last year by Hugo Burnand, who also took the king and queen’s coronation portraits and their 2005 wedding photos.

The new official portrait could be shown in thousands of public settings across the UK, from hospitals and council offices to police and fire stations.

Many public institutions displayed official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, and “the offering of the new official portrait of King Charles III will enable organisations across the UK to carry on that tradition”, the Cabinet Office said.

“The accession of his majesty the King marked a new chapter in our national story,” said Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister. “Displaying this new portrait will serve as a reminder to us all of the example set by our ultimate public servant and I hope as many eligible organisations as possible will wish to continue this proud British tradition and honour our king’s reign.”

The Cabinet Office’s announcement last year was met with criticism amid complaints of shrinking budgets across Whitehall and local government. The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic called the initiative a “shameful waste of money”.

“At a time when a majority of local councils are raising taxes and cutting public services, when schools and hospitals are struggling, to spend even £1 on this nonsense would be £1 too much,” said Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic.

He added: “The government has lost the plot if they think people want their money spent on pictures of Charles. They need to scrap this scheme and direct the money where it’s really needed.”

Post a Comment