No 1. Thing We've Learned From King Charles' First Official Portrait
A picture speaks a thousand words about the state of the Royal Family.
On September 10, Queen Elizabeth's eldest son, Charles, took the throne. Over the weekend, nearly a month later, Buckingham Palace released the first official portrait of the new King and his family. The beautiful photo was taken on the eve of the Queen's funeral on September 18, the same night they entertained world leaders who were in town for the event. In it, the family wears all black, mourning the death of the matriarch. It has been said that a picture speaks a thousand words. And, according to royal experts, this one is no exception.
The number one aspect of the photo that has experts talking is who is missing from it. The only ones pictured in the photo are King Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, and Kate Middleton. The King's younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan Markle, are nowhere to be seen.
Richard Kay writes for The Daily Mail that a "significant factor" is "a not-so-subtle nod" to the King's wishes for a slimmed-down monarchy, "one he believes will be more relevant and more resilient. Some will wonder if this is not just slimming down, but cutting to the bone. The unspoken elephant in the room is the absence of the King's younger son," he writes.
He also points out that "Three years ago, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan would have had every expectation to be part of this family ensemble. Indeed, only four years ago, there was just such a photograph issued to mark the then-Prince of Wales's 70th birthday."
"But, within months, the unity and happiness that radiated from that image had vanished. So it is not difficult to imagine how this picture will be viewed in sunny California, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are based. Might it deepen their feelings of exclusion and exile, or will it merely serve to remind them why they chose to break from the family in the first place?" he continues. "It surely can be no coincidence that the picture was taken when the couple were still in Britain and several days before they returned home to their children Archie and Lilibet. It must, therefore, be yet another signal that they will never again return to their central role in royal life."
Judi James added to Metro UK that the body language in the photo between both the father and son and the King and his wife, might be "a sign of both solidarity and affection" between them. "A pose like this will suggest mutual support and resilience,' she added. She also said that choosing to include Prince William and his wife, show that the crown is "in safe hands for a least one more generation," she maintains. 'This portrait looks emphatic in terms of its messages of continuity and unity. There is finally a sense of peace after all the rifts and soap-opera dramas of the past few decades."