Fury erupts at King Charles's new £8m portrait: 'What a waste!'

Fury erupts at King Charles's new £8m portrait: 'What a waste!'

Eamonn Holmes talks to Angela Levin about the new official King's portrait.

GB News
Hannah Ross

By Hannah Ross

Published: 16/01/2024

- 12:59

A new portrait of His Majesty in Windsor Castle was released Monday

The UK Government’s £8 million scheme to hang King Charles’s new portrait across public buildings has caused public outrage.

Anti-monarchy groups like Republic have described the move as a “shameful waste of money” at a time when taxes are rising and public services are being cut.

The UK Government announced that it would be spending the public money on the portrait scheme back in April 2023.

But the official portrait of the King was released last night showing Charles in his Admiral of the Flee uniform inside Windsor Castle.

King Charles

The new official portrait of King Charles.


Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic said: “At a time when a majority of local councils are raising taxes and cutting public services, when schools and hospitals are struggling, to spend even £1 on this nonsense would be £1 too much.

“The government has lost the plot if they think people want their money spent on pictures of Charles. They need to scrap this scheme and direct the money where it’s really needed.”

Some social media users echoed these concerns with one stating: “Your kids’ schools may have had their funding slashed under the Tories, but at least they’ve found £8 million of your money to put up a picture of King Charles in the canteen.”

The new portrait is to be shown across thousands of public bodies including local councils, courts, schools, police forces and fire and rescue services.

Queen Elizabeth II

An official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in 1958.

Another Twitter/X user posted: “I’m sure this £8 million could be better spent on hungry children, cold pensioners or veterans struggling on the streets.”

A third wrote: “What a waste, they could use this money to do some good instead.”

The portrait was taken last year by Hugo Burnand, an official royal photographer.

Other social media users defended the cost of the scheme and voiced their support for the portrait, with one stating: “taking pride in our history and traditions is important.”

Hugo Burnand

Hugo Burnand is an official royal photographer.


King Charles

Critics call the government scheme a "shameful waste of money."


It is understood that the UK Government consider it “right” that public authorities can commemorate the historical accession of King Charles and “strengthen civil pride.”

Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister showed his support stating: “The accession of his majesty the king marked a new chapter in our national story.

“Displaying this new portrait will serve as a reminder to us all of the example set by our ultimate public servant and I hope as many eligible organisations as possible will wish to continue this proud British tradition and honour our king’s reign.”

Next month, the portrait is expected to become available for town, parish and community council and Ministry of Defence-sponsored cadet forces.

You may like