Prince Charles' love for his family is more evident than ever in his new Prince & Patron exhibition at Buckingham Palace. Some rare and previously unseen photos of the royal family will go on display alongside the exhibition, which the Prince of Wales has curated to celebrate his 70th birthday year.
Among the highlights is a never-before-seen photo of Charles with his eldest son Prince William and then newborn grandson Prince George. The young Prince, who celebrates his fifth birthday on Sunday, can be seen sleeping peacefully in his grandfather’s arms while his dad smiles for the camera in a sweet photo of the three heirs to the throne all together.
A never-before-seen photo of Prince George is on display at Buckingham Palace
It is not the only portrait of Prince George to go on display; another framed photo shows the third-in-line to the throne’s christening from 2013. George is held by his mum, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is joined by Prince William, the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry. The official portrait was taken in St James’ Palace, where the family recently returned for the christening of William and Kate’s third child Prince Louis.
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The family photos will go on display alongside a number of works of art personally selected by Prince Charles for the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. The Prince’s favourite art works will be shown alongside works created by young artists supported by three charities which he has founded and is patron of: The Royal Drawing School, The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts and Turquoise Mountain.
Watch the video to see inside the Prince & Patron exhibition at Buckingham Palace
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Pieces on display include Johan Joseph Zoffany’s painting, The Tribuna of the Uffizi, commissioned by Queen Charlotte in 1772, and the cloak of Napoleon Bonaparte, made of wool, silk and silver thread, taken from Napoleon's carriage immediately after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and later presented to the future George IV. The colour, pattern and story of the cloak are said to have fascinated Prince Charles since he first saw it on display at Windsor Castle.
A photo from Prince George's christening has also gone on display
In audio commentary for exhibition visitors, Charles says about the cloak: "Since, as a child, I first caught sight of this cloak in the Grand Vestibule at Windsor, I have been fascinated by the sheer magic of the colour, the dashing pattern of the lining and the enthralling story of Napoleon himself which it conjures up.It is said to have been worn by the Emperor during his Egyptian
campaign and was taken from his carriage after the Battle of Waterloo 15 years later."
The artwork is arranged on the walls of an octagonal room with tables filled with books by Charles, family snaps, vases and other decorative objects, while above are hung rows of paintings and other artworks, some with a tapestry as a backdrop.
Vanessa Remington, senior curator of paintings at the Royal Collection Trust, said: "It's a departure because it is not a standard museum display and the works aren't shown in isolation, they're shown in profusion very, very densely. (Tables) are dressed with a range of objects and those are intended to show or give a flavour of the interiors of the Prince of Wales's own residences because this is a very personal show."