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New portrait of the King set for council offices, courts and schools unveiled | UK News

A new, official portrait of the King has been unveiled – ahead of being hung in buildings across the UK as part of an £8m government-funded scheme.

The photograph shows the King in his full military regalia, wearing his Royal Navy uniform – as he is an admiral of the fleet – and an abundance of medals and decorations.

His pristine white gloves and hat can be seen on an antique table and, in his left hand, he grasps a sword.

The monarch was photographed in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle last year by Hugo Burnand, who also took the King and Queen’s coronation portraits and 2005 wedding photos.

Official portrait of King Charles III
Pic: Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2024/Cabinet Office
Image:
The official portrait of King Charles III will be hung in public buildings. Pic: Hugo Burnand/Royal Household 2024/Cabinet Office

Councils, courts, schools, police forces and fire and rescue services are among the UK institutions that can apply to receive the framed portrait for free.

An anti-monarchy campaign group branded the initiative a “shameful waste of money” when it was announced before the coronation last year, but the Cabinet Office has said the move continues a tradition.

Graham Smith, 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.”

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Recap of the Royal Family’s eventful 2023

He also said the government “has lost the plot if they think people want their money spent on pictures of Charles”, calling for the scheme to be scrapped and the money directed “where it’s really needed”.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has said that “displaying this new portrait will serve as a reminder to us all of the example set by our ultimate public servant”.

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A Cabinet Office statement said: “The UK government considers it right that public authorities, as part of the fabric of our nation, have the opportunity to commemorate this moment [the King’s ascension], strengthen civil pride and reflect the new era in our history.”

The scheme will be extended to include town, parish and community councils and Ministry of Defence-sponsored cadet forces in February with all portraits expected to be delivered between February and April this year.

Barbie doll with scoliosis unveiled as toy company aims to highlight the ‘power of representation’ | UK News

A barbie doll maker has made history by introducing its first doll with scoliosis.

The toy company’s line for Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, will see a new addition that features curvature of the spine and a removable back brace, aimed at normalising the equipment and encouraging children to celebrate inclusion.

The team at Mattel worked closely with Dr Luke Macyszyn, a board-certified neurosurgeon and specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders, who advised the designers throughout the doll’s development.

The 15cm doll wears a pink dress and has a removable green back brace, white shoes, and her brown hair is styled in waves.

Celebrating inclusivity

Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said: “We believe in the power of representation and are committed to creating dolls in a variety of looks so that kids can see themselves in Barbie – and now in a line celebrating Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea”.

Read more:
First Barbie with hearing aids
Barbie dolls with no hair and vitiligo aim to diversify iconic toy range

The Chelsea doll has a removable back brace and is a way for kids to be more “reflective” of the world around them.

Barbie doll with scoliosis unveiled. Pic: PA
Image:
Barbie doll with scoliosis unveiled. Pic: PA

In hopes of creating a conversation, McKnight added: “Our Chelsea line provides infinitely more ways to spark storytelling, all while providing kids with a way to develop their empathy and social processing skills through doll play.”

After being criticised in the past for making dolls too thin and overly sexual, the company have now been creating a more diverse range, but some of these have also sparked controversy.

Some of the dolls included: Wheelchair-using dolls, Plus size, Hijab-wearing and sign language dolls.

In 2022, the company also released its first Barbie with hearing aids – supported by Strictly Come Dancing winner, Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Coins featuring portrait of King Charles unveiled – as Royal Mint reveals when they will enter circulation | UK News

Coins featuring a portrait of King Charles III will gradually enter circulation from December.

The Royal Mint says his image will appear on 50p coins first – and in keeping with tradition, the King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to the Queen.

A commemorative £5 coin has also been created that features two new portraits of the late monarch on the back.

Read more: Queen’s death certificate reveals how she died

Image:
The commemorative £5 coin

Nicola Howell, chief commercial officer at the Royal Mint, said King Charles worked closely with sculptor Martin Jennings – and personally approved the effigy.

This was “to make sure there was a seamless empathetic way to end her majesty’s reign and to actually signal the new reign of a new king”.

The Latin inscription surrounding the effigy reads: “:: CHARLES III :: D :: G :: REX :: F :: D :: 5 POUNDS :: 2022” which translates to: “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith.”

The effigy could be viewed as softer and less regal than those of previous monarchs.

Chris Barker, from the Royal Mint Museum, described the portrait as “dignified and graceful, which reflects his years of service”.

He added: “I think if you look back on some of the portraits of Elizabeth – particularly her first portrait by Mary Gillick – it was much more idealised.

“This one is much more of the man himself, of the individual, you see the lines in his face, the years of experience, and that humanity coming across.”

The reverse of the commemorative £5 coin features two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, showing a younger and older image of the late monarch.

The design was created by artist John Bergdahl in collaboration with the Royal Mint.

It will form part of a wider memorial coin collection.

Ms Howell said: “We expect customers will start to be able to receive the commemorative range from October and then we expect the 50p memorial circulating coin to be appearing in people’s change probably from December.”

The reverse of the 50p features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.

It was struck to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield.

In between each shield is an emblem of the home nations: a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek.

Read more from Sky News:
When will King Charles banknotes be released?
King Charles’s new royal monogram revealed
King Charles in pictures
The events that shaped Britain’s new King

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Timeline: From Queen’s death to funeral

All UK coins bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender and coins featuring the new King will co-circulate alongside those of his mother.

Historically it has been commonplace for coins featuring the effigies of different monarchs to co-circulate, helping to minimise the environmental impact and cost.

There are around 27 billion coins currently circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. They will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for additional coins.