King Charles and heirs’ official coronation portrait unveiled
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If the weight of responsibility rests heavily on their shoulders, they do not show it.
King Charles III is depicted alongside his two heirs, the Prince of Wales, 40, and Prince George, nine, in a new portrait released to mark the coronation.
Britain’s King Charles III, the Prince of Wales and Prince George pose for a photo on the day of the coronation.Credit: AP
Together, they represent the future of the monarchy as it stretches many decades into the future.
The photograph was taken by Hugo Burnand in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, shortly after the ceremony on May 6.
King Charles, seated on a throne in the centre of the image, is suitably regal.
Burnand has described how he wanted to depict the monarch as “the real man” that he is. “He is of his age. With that comes wisdom and experience and all those things,” he said.
Britain’s King Charles III and Queen Camilla pose for a photo with their Pages of Honour and Ladies in Attendance on the day of the coronation.Credit: AP
The King’s fur-lined Robe of Estate, draped around his shoulders, is displayed in all of its glory. Carefully draped over his right knee, it cascades down the steps over the red carpet towards the camera.
The robe was made for the King’s grandfather, George VI, in 1937.
Below the velvet robe is his purple satin coronation tunic, its design inspired by similar tunics worn by his grandfather, George VI, and great-grandfather, George V, at their own coronations.
The royal naval trousers belong to the King and are regularly worn as part of His Majesty’s Royal Navy full ceremonial tailcoat.
On his head is the heavy Imperial State Crown – positioned at a very slightly jaunty angle – which weighs just over a kilogram.
Made of gold and set with 2868 diamonds, the crown features at its heart the Black Prince Ruby, part of the royal collection since the 14th century and worn by Henry V in his helmet during the Battle of Agincourt.
The King is holding in his right hand the Sceptre with Cross, representing temporal power.
Originally made for Charles II in 1661, it has since undergone a number of alterations, including the addition of a huge drop-shaped diamond, Cullinan I, which weighs 530.2 carats.
In his left hand is the Orb, a hollow, 30cm-wide piece of regalia designed to represent the globe, a symbol of the sovereign’s Christian power.
It is mounted with nine emeralds, 18 rubies, nine sapphires, 365 diamonds, 375 pearls, one amethyst and one glass stone.
His throne chair is one of a pair made in 1902 for the future King George V and Queen Mary for use at the coronation of Edward VII.
The King is flanked by his elder son to his right and his elder grandson to his left.
Prince William is wearing the red ceremonial dress uniform of the Welsh Guards underneath his navy blue Order of the Garter mantle.
Although he is positioned behind his father, his height gives him an air of authority, while his upright stature also suggests independence.
The young Prince George, by comparison, is resting one gloved hand on the throne and is leaning very slightly in towards his grandfather.
His smile betrays a hint of nervousness, perhaps unable to escape the unspoken significance of this particular shot and all that it conveys.
The Prince is wearing his scarlet Page of Honour tunic, decorated with gold lace trim and blue velvet cuffs.
The uniforms were originally made by Ede and Ravenscroft during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and have been re-tailored for the coronation.
In the second portrait, the King and Queen are surrounded by the close family members and friends who they each chose to support them on the day as Pages of Honour and Ladies in Attendance.
On the King’s far right are his own four pages, each of whom did a sterling job of carrying his robes throughout the coronation ceremony.
The King and Queen take centre stage, their Robes of Estate artfully draped before them.
To their left is Annabel Elliot, 74, the Queen’s sister, to whom she is extremely close.
Both Ladies in Attendance are wearing ivory dresses designed by Fiona Clare.
To Mrs Elliot’s left are the Queen’s four pages; Freddy Parker Bowles, 13, Arthur Elliot, 10, and twins Gus and Louis Lopes, 13.
Arthur is the Queen’s great nephew – Mrs Elliot’s grandson – and the other three are her grandsons.
Freddy and Louis, are in outfits based on the uniform of the Grenadier Guards, in honour of Her Majesty’s role as its Colonel-in-Chief.
Gus and Arthur are in outfits based on the uniform of the Rifles, of which the Queen is also Colonel in Chief.
The group all appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the coronation ceremony.
Lady Lansdowne revealed that neither she and Mrs Elliot, nor the pages had expected to do so and were only told “one minute before”.
Recalling the moment, she told the BBC: “You could feel the enthusiasm of the crowds, you could feel all those wonderful people in the rain – just willing them on and it was the most extraordinary experience – this groundswell of singing and chanting and clapping.
“And for those little boys, something they will never forget. If you’re nine or ten that’s something that will stay with you forever.”
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