Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : More public institutions can apply for a portrait of The King [May 2024]

The press release issued by the Cabinet Office on 12 May 2024.

Hospitals, coastguard operations centres, job centres, universities and Church of England churches can now claim a free official portrait of King Charles III.

His Majesty The King’s Official Portrait Scheme has been extended to include hospitals, coastguard operations centres, job centres, universities, Church of England churches and other public institutions.

From 5 June more public institutions, as well as Church of England places of worship, will be eligible for a free portrait of His Majesty The King. Should they wish to, they can request one free framed portrait per establishment.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said:

“His Majesty’s accession marked a new chapter in the history of our nation.

“Our public authorities and established churches are an essential part of the fabric of the nation and it is right that they have the chance to commemorate this moment.

“Displaying this new portrait also serves as a reminder of the example set by our ultimate public servant. Like his mother before him, The King has dedicated his life and work to serving others.”

The portrait, taken at Windsor Castle last year by photographer Hugo Burnand shows His Majesty wearing a Royal Navy uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet and official medals and decorations.

Portraits of Heads of State are a common feature in public buildings across the world and official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and previous monarchs are currently on display in many public institutions in the UK.

The Church of England is the Established Church in England, meaning that it is established by law and has a unique relationship with the State.  As well as being Head of State, The King is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

This extension follows the success of earlier phases of the scheme. The initial phase of The King’s Official Portrait Scheme was open to local authorities, court buildings, schools, police forces and fire and rescue services and other public institutions across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, among others.