- King Charles III posed for his first official portrait as monarch following his coronation on May 6.
- Hugo Burnand photographed Charles in full regalia in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace.
- The chair Charles sits on carries historical significance, and his robes belonged to King George VI.
King Charles III’s first official portrait as monarch, taken by royal photographer Hugo Burnand, features the king in his coronation regalia holding objects of significance from the ceremony.
Burnand, who photographed Charles and Queen Camilla’s wedding in 2005 and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, wrote on Instagram that it was “an unbelievable honour to have been asked to take these pictures.”
“I hope I have done justice to our very wonderful King and his Queen,” he wrote. “Long Live The King!”
Here are five hidden details you may have missed in Charles’ royal portrait, pictured below:
Charles posed in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace
The Throne Room features throne chairs made for the coronations of Queen Elizabeth II and King George VI, as well as a throne chair made for Queen Victoria, according to the Royal Collection Trust.
William and Kate also posed for their wedding portraits in the same room.
The chair he’s seated on carries historical significance
According to the photo caption provided by the palace, Charles sits on one of a pair of throne chairs made for King George V and Queen Mary for King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902.
The chairs also appeared in King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I’s 1937 coronation portrait.
He holds the Sovereign’s Sceptre in his right hand and the Sovereign’s Orb in his left
The Sovereign’s Sceptre dates back to 1611. It features the 530.2-carat Cullinan I diamond, the largest colorless cut diamond in the world. Also known as the Great Star of Africa, it is the largest stone cut from the original Cullinan diamond discovered by Frederick G.S. Wells in South Africa 1905. It was given to Edward VII in 1907 and added to the Sceptre in 1910. The Sceptre “represents the sovereign’s temporal power and is associated with good governance,” according to the Royal Collection Trust.
The Sovereign’s Orb features a cross on top of a globe, symbolizing the monarch’s power and position in the Christian world. It is encrusted with emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, as well as rows of rose-cut diamonds and pearls. The Orb dates back to 1661.
Charles held both objects during the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Charles wears the Imperial State Crown
The Imperial State Crown that Charles wears in the portrait, made for King George VI in 1937, features 2,868 diamonds, St Edward’s Sapphire, and Cullinan II, the second-largest stone cut from the original Cullinan diamond. The crown is also worn by the monarch for the State Opening of Parliament, according to the Royal Collection Trust.
His Robes of Estate were previously worn by his grandfather, King George VI
As Insider’s Erin McDowell reported, monarchs have historically worn brand-new robes for their coronations, but Charles reused robes from previous rulers “in the interests of sustainability and efficiency,” according to a Buckingham Palace press release. In the portrait, Charles wears the purple silk and velvet robes embroidered with gold that George VI wore for his 1937 coronation.