King Charles appears in first official portrait – and there’s even a rare touch of royal PDA!

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Royal portrait (from left): Camilla, Queen Consort, King Charles, Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, in the British monarch's first official portrait. (PHOTO: Instagram/Buckinghampalaceroyal)
Royal portrait (from left): Camilla, Queen Consort, King Charles, Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, in the British monarch's first official portrait. (PHOTO: Instagram/Buckinghampalaceroyal)

The former Prince of Wales has appeared in his first official portrait as King Charles III of the United Kingdom.

Buckingham Palace released the portrait shortly after the official period of mourning for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, ended. It shows Charles (73) with his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort (75), his eldest son and heir, Prince William (40), and William's wife, Kate, Princess of Wales (40).

The elegant photo was taken by longtime royal photographer Chris Jackson on the night before Elizabeth's funeral in September when the palace hosted a gala evening to welcome global leaders and dignitaries.

It shows a more relaxed-looking royal family, with both couples engaged in slight public displays of affection (PDAs). Kate’s right arm is gently placed behind William’s back while Charles’ arm is around Camilla.  

Traditionally the royal family keep to an unwritten rule of maintaining a healthy physical distance between themselves on official business.

The portrait comes after the first official coin showing Charles was revealed.

The king's face will appear on special £5 and 50p commemorative coins that feature his late mother on the reverse side. The image on the coins was personally approved by Charles.

Charles has been preparing for this role for some years but is finding he may have to adjust some of his expectations. His plan to attend the upcoming COP27 climate-change summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was dashed despite being a longtime environmental champion.

The decision not to go was taken after prime minister Liz Truss raised objections to him going during a meeting with the monarch last month. It was agreed it wasn't the right occasion for Charles’ first overseas visit as a sovereign and that he has “other priorities”.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Charles visited a carbon-capture site in Renfrew, Scotland, during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference last year, but won't be attending COP27 this year. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

William is also not going, which has raised some eyebrows, especially as Charles attended the event last year when he was Prince of Wales.

Mark Spencer, the UK's new minister of state for farming, fisheries and food, says William should go.

“I’m sure the Prince of Wales will be a huge ambassador for the environment moving forward,” he said at a Conservative Environment Network event at the Conservative Party conference earlier this month.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
William plants a mangrove during a visit to Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi earlier this year to learn more about the UAE’s efforts to protect the regional flora and fauna. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“I’m not in charge of the king’s diary, luckily. But I think in his new role, as the monarch, he said himself he’s up for others to take up that challenge.”

William has taken on some of his father's environmental causes, including work on rainforests and species conservation.

Unlike his mother, Charles has been outspoken on a whole range of issues from genetically modified crops to homeopathic medicines and architecture. 

Sources:,, Instagram

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