Did you spot this hidden detail in King Charles' first portrait as monarch?

King Charles' first portrait has been released and eagle-eyed fans have noticed this important hidden detail in the artwork

King Charles' first portrait
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

King Charles' first portrait as the new monarch has been released and there is a sweet detail included by artist, Alastair Barford.

King Charles' first portrait as monarch was recently released. In celebration of the King's upcoming coronation, Illustrated London News commissioned Alastair Barford to create a new portrait of the King which was released on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.  In this painting, the artist included a hidden detail in the form of an accessory painted on the King which has a very important meaning.

In the portrait, the King is painted with his hand in his pocket with a watch and a bracelet sitting on his wrist under the cuff of his suit jacket. The item is an indigenous bracelet that the King was gifted during a reception in aid of biodiversity by the Amazon indigenous leader Domingo Peas. 

The artist reportedly included this bracelet in the painting to highlight the King's advocacy against climate change and his support of sustainability. 

The painter wrote on social media, "Shown in suit rather than the robes of state. I hope this is a portrait of the man behind the role and conveys something of the warmth and empathy which I witnessed when I was observating him at the palace." He also added in an interview with Illustrated London News, "It was important that I captured a sympathetic expression."

Speaking about his experience painting the King, Alastair said, “It was a terrifying honour." The King did not sit for the artist, and instead, Alistair was invited to observe the King at a biodiversity reception at Buckingham Palace in February. During this meeting Charles was presented with a bracelet and a necklace by Domingo Peas, it is this bracelet that was incorporated into the painting.

King Charles

(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

"It’s a great responsibility to create a portrait of someone who means so much to so many people," he told Sphere. "If you are painting someone you know, you bring to the portrait certain preconceptions. While I don’t know The King, he has been an enduring presence in all our lives. So reconciling this ‘Idea of The King' with the reference material I had gathered was a challenge."

This isn't the first time that the artist has painted a member of the Royal Family. In 2015, Alastair painted Her Majesty the Queen for a very different reason.

Alastair's most recent portrait of a royal celebrates the beginning of a reign, but his last royal portrait celebrated a very different milestone for the late Queen's reign.

In 2015, Alastair painted Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of a major ocassion as she became the longest-reigning British monarch. Once again this portrait was commissioned by Illustrated London News, and the magazine gave him just three months to create this piece of the Queen. The magazine also revealed that the artist was able to create this recent piece of King Charles in just two weeks! 

Alastair compared the two artworks and noted, "Working on both portraits demanded a different approach to my normal practice of working from life, because I observed them for a short amount of time, and worked from the reference material I gathered on the occasion and my memory."

"The Queen was adorned in her Garter Robes, so that portrait was more concerned with the portrayal of her official role. The portrait of The King is a more intimate look at the man behind the role," concluded the painter.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.