The portrait of King Charles will replace the portrait of the Queen in schools, courts and town halls
King Charles’s portrait will replace the Queen’s portrait in schools, courts and town halls, funded by the government to bolster support for the new monarch after his coronation next month
- King’s portrait is intended to strengthen ‘civic pride’ at the start of the new regime
- An official photographer has yet to be chosen for the portrait, it is understood
Schools, courts, councils and police stations will display a newly framed official portrait of King Charles, funded by the government, to bolster support for the new monarch after his coronation.
The move, which is being spearheaded by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, is designed to bolster “civic pride” at the start of the new reign.
Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, Mr Dowden: ‘These portraits are another opportunity to honor that spirit, to remember what unites us – and to mark a new chapter in our nation’s long and proud history. ‘
It is clear that an official photographer has yet to be chosen for the portrait, which will replace the portraits of Queen Elizabeth II currently on display in many public institutions.
A Cabinet Office source said: ‘The scheme will open later this year following the coronation and the release of His Majesty’s official portraits by the Royal Household.
Public buildings will display a newly framed official portrait of King Charles to bolster support for him
“Eligible government agencies will have the opportunity to request one free framed portrait once it is released.”
John Glen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘This arrangement enables thousands of public institutions across the UK to proudly mark this defining moment in our country’s history. The coronation of His Majesty the King is an opportunity for the whole country to unite, and these new portraits continue a very British tradition of celebrating this momentous occasion.”
Ministers hope the move will neutralize republican sentiment in left-wing councils and universities.
Two years ago, Gavin Williamson, then Minister of Education, described the cancellation of the Queen as “absurd” by Oxford University students, who voted to remove an “unwelcome” portrait because “she represents recent colonial history.” .
Members of Magdalen College’s middle common room said that “patriotism and colonialism are inseparable.” They added that they intended to replace the portrait with “art by or by other influential and inspiring people,” and put any future images of the royal family to a vote.
Williamson said: ‘Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the head of state and a symbol of the best of the UK.’
OLIVER DOWDEN: A new public tribute that will unite us all
Pictured: Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In a month we will turn a page in our history. We are fast approaching the coronation of King Charles III, and I know people across the country want the chance to pay tribute to our new monarch.
One of the best things about this country is that we wear our patriotism lightly, but with real pride. We don’t go to big national pageants or over-the-top, over-emotional displays.
For decades, images of the Queen have been quietly hung in public buildings as a reminder of her role as our most steadfast public servant.
As a new reign begins, we are ensuring that schools, town halls and other public buildings can continue by offering them a new portrait of the king, fully funded by the government.
Many of the people who work in these buildings feel a real sense of civic duty and pride. Firefighters, police officers, teachers: they know they are there to serve the public and their country.
That spirit goes to the top with the sovereign – who is, of course, not only our king, but also head of state and commander-in-chief.
In his first speech as king, Charles spoke of how he had been “brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others” and vowed to serve the nation with “loyalty, respect and love.”
These portraits are another opportunity to honor that spirit, to remember what unites us – and to mark a new chapter in our nation’s long and proud history.