Prince Charles Displays Personal Family Photos (Harry's Wedding! Baby George!) in Palace Exhibit
Prince Charles is sharing what’s on the walls of his homes in a special Buckingham Palace exhibit that features some of his favorite artwork — and even private family photographs.
The photos, which include a recent snap his son Prince Harry‘s royal wedding to Meghan Markle, are designed to add a personal touch, capturing the feel of his homes as he shows off some of the best art held by the Royal Collection and from artistic charities he supports.
Curators at the palace have displayed the art in an area within the palace’s Ball Supper Room. Some of the featured artwork includes studies of members of his family (including never-before-seen portraits of William and Harry!) and a recent portrait of his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It is one of two oil sketches by Eileen Hogan, who also painting Charles at Birkhall, Scotland two years ago. The pair of paintings are displayed in public together for the first time.
Below the artworks that are densely positioned on the walls (another nod to how Charles hangs his artworks at his homes), are side tables holding some of Charles’ books and a previously-unseen shot of him with son Prince William and a baby Prince George. The photo is usually displayed at Charles’ country home Highgrove. On another table is a photo of Harry and Charles after Harry flew his father in an Apache helicopter while he was training.
“It is intended to give a flavor of the Prince of Wales’s owning residences and reflect his personal involvement,” says Vanessa Remington, senior curator of paintings at the Royal Collection. “He has grown up as a passionate art lover.”
“The display aims to show the public the prince’s long-standing passion for art and the way this has been channeled into the creation and understanding of art charities.”
In the center of the exhibit is a magnificent seven-foot-high cedar wood pavilion dome, created classical carver Naseer Yasna, from the Turquoise Mountain, a charity founded by Charles to create jobs and revive skills and crafts in Kabul, Afghanistan. Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth, has not seen the summer opening show yet.
A poignant piece was added to the exhibition at the last minute and highlights how Charles, who turns 70 in November, is a patron of art. He asked for the inclusion of a triptych of paintings of three Yezidi women who had been persecuted by Islamic State in Northern Iraq. The work, showing Waso, 15, and Oansa, 13, (who have been separated from their families) and Lelia, 31, (who lost three children and her husband and was held in captivity) by Hannah Rose Thomas was spotted by the prince at the final degree ceremony of the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts.
“It’s an extremely moving work,” says Remington.
Among the ceramics, tapestries, sketches (and two of his own watercolors) is a cloak that was once worn by French emperor Napoleon as he fled after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. “It appealed to the Prince of Wales since he was a child seeing it at Windsor Castle,” Remington adds.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
For the exhibit, titled Prince & Patron, Charles chose 25 pieces from the Royal Collection, and the other 75 came from works created by artists supported by The Royal Drawing School, The Prince’s Foundation School for Traditional Arts and Turquoise Mountain. The palace is open from July 21 until September 30 and visitors can also see 19 state rooms as part of the tour.