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HomeHealth and LifestylePrince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial new portraits released

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s controversial new portraits released

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been reimagined as famous historical royals by the youngest artist ever to paint the late Queen Elizabeth.

But the abstract paintings, which depict Prince Harry as Bonnie Prince Charlie and Meghan Markle as Dame Elizabeth Grey, have received a strong reaction online.

One commentator on X, formerly Twitter, admits to having fallen to the floor laughing upon seeing the portraits, while a second likened the abstract works to the new, red portrait of King Charles.

A third questioned whether the artist was a four-year-old child.

“How is that Meghan? That painting is ugly,” wrote one unimpressed critic on social media.

“Sorry I don’t see Meghan! It’s just an unknown woman,” added another.

Artist Dan Llywelyn Hall was 32 when he was commissioned to paint the late Queen in 2013.

He said: “In Harry’s case, I have entered the story before he met Meghan – the young party-goer with his future very much in the balance, a bit like the Bonnie Prince I have likened him to.

“I thought putting Meghan in the role of the White Queen, who was a Queen Consort and possibly the most influential ‘outsider’ in royal history, might have a fine irony to it and not necessarily beyond the realms of reality.”

Prince Harry has been reimagined as Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Prince Harry has been reimagined as Bonnie Prince Charlie. (Dan Llywelyn Hall/PA Wire)

The portrayal of the couple going against the grain reflects their decision in 2020 to step down as working royals, citing press intrusion and a desire to live a more independent life.

The portraits will be displayed at a London exhibition called The Reign at the Society of Antiquaries in Piccadilly.

It features other paintings from the artist, including a depiction of the lying in state queue, which made headlines worldwide in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022.

There are also a further 10 paintings by artist Adam Dant.

Meghan Markle has been reimagined as a royal disruptor.

Meghan Markle has been reimagined as a royal disruptor. (Dan Llywelyn Hall/PA Wire)

Llywelyn Hall added: “The Royal Family is possibly the most enthralling longest-running drama in history, the inspiration of theatre, books and every art form.

“It seemed that these figures caught on the knife edge of public opinion were ideal for drawing comparisons from distant monarchs – like the exiled princes and princesses of the past, that lurk in the background but are still irrevocably tied to the job.

“We can’t help ourselves and wonder whatever next?”

Icon, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Dan Llywelyn Hall

Icon, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Dan Llywelyn Hall (PA)

The paintings will be actioned off in aid of the society and its work digitising and cataloguing around 25,000 18th and 19th-century prints and drawings.

Llywelyn Hall said he finds the “subject of royalty utterly irresistible and rich succour for art”.

The Reign will open to the public tomorrow (28 June), with the auction taking place on 4 July.

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