July 10

Painting of the Princes


The first official portrait of Princes William and Harry has been unveiled in London, according to a report by Anita Singh in the Daily Telegraph, London, on 7 Jan 2010.  Painted by Nicky Philipps who was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, it shows the pair engaged in "brotherly banter" as they pose in the Library of Clarence House, their official London residence. Both wear the dress uniform of the Household Cavalry. 


There were five sittings with the Princes over six months.  Both are in military uniform and Prince William wears the star and sash of the Order of the Garter, to which he was installed as the 1000th knight in 2008.  Prince Harry remains a Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals. Prince Harry is seated in front of a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by Savely Sorine.

Prince William, 27, leans casually against the doorway and a portrait of George Bernard Shaw by Augustus John is visible over his shoulder, on the wall of the sitting room.

…"good company and very helpful"….

Miss Philipps told Ms. Singh: "I didn't want any sort of overbearing formality about it because they are still young and William hasn't got to his role yet. They are Army officers and they are brothers. Like any sitter, the Princes were a little apprehensive to begin with, but they went along with everything and did everything I asked them. They were good company and very helpful.

"The pose was instinctive on their part, which I liked. Although I was commissioned to paint them in their official context, I hope I have also captured some of the brotherly banter that characterised the sittings." The Princes were given a private view of the portrait before Christmas and were said to be pleased with the result.

This is the first portrait featuring only the Princes. They previously featured in a 2007 group portrait by Sergei Pavlenko to commemorate Harry's graduation from Sandhurst. The family portrait included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The painting will be displayed for the next six months in the National Portrait Gallery's Contemporary Galleries.

Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, told Ms. Singh: "The first portrait of the Princes captures them formally dressed but informally posed. It is a delightful image which extends the tradition of royal portraiture. The Princes are photographed all the time – it is part of their lives – but this is their first portrait and that is what makes it special."  


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