King Charles’ poignant commission on display weeks ahead of first official visit to this royal residence in 2023

King Charles’ poignant commission has gone on display at a historic royal residence a week after he unveiled it in a special reception

King Charles’ poignant commission revealed the same day he attends the Windrush 75th Anniversary Service
(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

King Charles’ poignant commission has gone on display in a historic royal residence just a few weeks before he’s expected to pay his first official visit there in 2023. 

King Charles might have stepped out at Royal Ascot for his third consecutive day on June 22, but a significant announcement was made on the very same date. Taking to Instagram in a joint post, the Royal Family and Royal Collection Trust shared a glimpse at a selection of deeply moving portraits on Windrush Day 2023. Together, these ten portraits comprise, Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation, and were commissioned by His Majesty last year when he was still Prince of Wales. 

King Charles’ poignant commission of these ten portraits was in recognition of the “tremendous impact” of the Windrush Generation on the UK. This year marks a milestone 75 years since HMT Empire Windrush arrived in the country and King Charles attended a service at St George's Chapel to mark this anniversary.

Windrush Day was introduced in 2018 and honors the contribution of the Windrush Generation who came to the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971 to help rebuild the nation after the devastation of the Second World War. In 2018 it emerged that many of the Windrush Generation had been wrongly deported as the government hadn’t properly recorded the details of those who’d been granted permission to stay.

The new works were created by ten Black artists who were revealed in the caption and include Derek Fordjour’s painting of Professor Sir Godfrey (Geoff) Palmer OBE, Gilda Oliver by Clifton Powell and Laceta Reid by Serge Attukwei Clottey, to name just a few.

Baroness Amos sits next to King Charles III during a service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for young people, to recognise and celebrate the Windrush 75th Anniversary

(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

From June 22 all ten, as part of the Royal Collection, have gone on display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Whilst King Charles has his Birkhall home in Scotland, this historic royal home is the monarch’s official Scottish residence. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign she traditionally enjoyed Royal Week in July and spent time at Holyroodhouse. King Charles and Queen Camilla are set to undertake a visit to Scotland in a few weeks’ time.

According to the Scottish Government website there will be a procession from Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral so it’s likely His Majesty will be at the palace at some point for the first time in 2023. He will no doubt be eager to see his poignant commission displayed at this residence during his visit.

From October Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation will move to the National Portrait Gallery, meaning even more people will be able to view them. However, King Charles has already seen the portraits as he unveiled them to the sitters and their families at Buckingham Palace during a special reception last week. Sweet snaps from this meaningful event were also shared on Windrush Day alongside a special message from His Majesty.

“History is, thankfully and finally, beginning to accord a rightful place to those men and women of the Windrush Generation,” he declared. “The ten portraits of this series, together with the tributes to other members of that indomitable generation, are a small way to honor their remarkable legacy.”

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!