King Charles III portrait absolutely roasted on social media

From the dark depths of Mordor, behold, the first official portrait of King Charles III since he was crowned monarch.

Charles, 75, hosted an unveiling ceremony for his new painting by UK artist Jonathan Yeo (though you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the handiwork of Prince Harry), at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, local time.

Unfortunately for Mr Yeo, the reception has been brutal on social media – the top comment on X gave the simple yet punchy critique: “It is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Charles himself appeared to get a mini fright when he pulled off the black cloak to find an emblazoned red King staring back at him, while Queen Camilla reportedly gave Mr Yeo her stamp of approval, “Yes, you’ve got him.”

King Charles unveils first official portrait

In the portrait, His Majesty can be seen wearing the red uniform of the Welsh Guards while holding a sword, as a butterfly lingers above his shoulder.

It’s understandable his garb would be painted red, but the most startling element is the entire painting is red – Charles’ head is the only normal-coloured thing on display.

Now, art is subjective. There are countless tomes about rich metaphors embedded beneath the stroke of a paintbrush, with pieces capable of offering varying meanings to different individuals.

Here’s a collection of deep thoughts and understandings the Charles artwork has spawned on social media:

“It looks like he’s burning in hell,” one pondered.

“This new King Charles portrait looks like the poster for a truly nightmarish horror movie,” another mused.

“WTF is this mess,” another art aficionado offered.

“This is almost satanic,” a fourth ruled.

“Ghastly,” another described it.

Another user offered a slightly more measured critique, writing, “I really like the portrait of King Charles by Jonathan Yeo – the go-to artist for slightly edgy but convincingly recognisable contemporary portraits; before photography, to have a great painter capture your real appearance you accepted the revelation of your flaws and your mortality. It’s what Yeo captures here.”

Meanwhile, local GB News host Nigel Farage, while presenting the news bulletin, described it as a “remarkable” picture.

“The uniform almost fades into the background, and what you see from the portrait is the face, the head, of the King.

“It is unusual, to say the least, but I really rather like it. It’s different.”

Mr Yeo was commissioned to paint the portrait back in 2020 to celebrate the then Prince of Wales’ 50 years as a member of charitable institution The Drapers’ Company in 2022.

The canvas size – approximately 2.6 metres by 2 metres framed – was carefully considered to fit within the architecture of Drapers’ Hall and the context of the paintings it will eventually hang alongside.

“When I started this project, His Majesty The King was still His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and much like the butterfly I’ve painted hovering over his shoulder, this portrait has evolved as the subject’s role in our public life has transformed,” Mr Yeo said.

“I do my best to capture the life experiences etched into any individual sitter’s face.

“In this case, my aim was also to make reference to the traditions of Royal portraiture but in a way that reflects a 21st century monarchy and, above all else, to communicate the subject’s deep humanity.”

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