Here’s an interesting use of public funds. The Cabinet Office has announced that public authorities throughout the United Kingdom will be able to apply for a free portrait of His Majesty The King, fully funded by the UK Government, as part of a scheme to celebrate the new reign of King Charles III. The press release was published on Saturday 1st April 2023, so there is a possibility that this may be a bit of April Fool’s Day tomfoolery by the Cabinet Office.
Anyway, this is what the press release says:
“Councils, courts, schools, police forces and fire and rescue services will be among the public institutions across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to be offered a new official portrait photograph of His Majesty, funded by the UK Government.
“The announcement comes ahead of people from across the world coming together to celebrate the Coronation on Saturday 6 May.
“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, said:
“We have entered a new reign in our history. Now as we unite in preparing for the splendour of The King’s Coronation, these new portraits will serve as a visible reminder in buildings up and down the country of the nation’s ultimate public servant.
“They will help us turn a page in our history together – and pay a fitting tribute to our new sovereign. I am sure they will take pride of place in public buildings across the land.”
“Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said:
“This scheme will allow thousands of public institutions across the UK to mark this defining moment in our nation’s history with pride.
The Coronation of His Majesty the King is an opportunity for the whole country to unite, and these new portraits continue a very British tradition to celebrate this momentous occasion.
“The accession of our Head of State, His Majesty The King, has meant the beginning of a new reign, and the UK Government considers it is right that public authorities, as part of the fabric of our nation, have the opportunity to commemorate this moment, strengthen civic pride, and reflect the new era in our history.”
Official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II are currently on display in many public institutions, and the offering of the new official portrait of King Charles III will enable organisations across the UK to carry on that tradition.
The scheme will be opened later this year following the Coronation and the release of the official portraits of His Majesty by the Royal Household. Those public authorities who are eligible will be offered the opportunity to request one free framed portrait once it is released. Further details will be provided in due course.”
You can view the full press release on the GOV.UK website.