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Public authorities to get a free official portrait of the King

Public authorities to get a free official portrait of the King

Places like councils, courts, schools and police forces will be offered one

An £8 million government-funded scheme is offering public authorities the chance to claim a free portrait of the King.

Councils, courts, schools, police forces and fire and rescue services will be among the UK institutions across that will be offered a new official portrait photograph.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, said the portrait, which has yet to be released, will “serve as a visible reminder in buildings up and down the country of the nation’s ultimate public servant.”

He added: “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.”

The prized official portrait has yet to be released by the Royal Household.

Organisations will be able to request one free framed portrait.

Further details of the scheme, which is to open later this year, including which institutions are eligible have yet to be announced.

The Cabinet Office said the move follows in a tradition which has seen many institutions display official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II.

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.”

But Graham Smith of anti-monarchy campaign Republic said: “This is a shameful waste of money. At a time when a majority of local councils are raising taxes and cutting public services, when schools and hospitals are struggling, to spend even £1 on this nonsense would be £1 too much.

“Charles dodged a huge tax bill last year, when he inherited an estimated £650 million from the Queen. Surely if anyone really wants an official portrait he can stump up the cost himself?

“The Government has lost the plot if they think people want their money spent on pictures of Charles. They need to scrap this scheme and direct the money where it’s really needed.

“The coronation is estimated to cost anything from £50-£100 million – and we can see why. This waste is absolutely scandalous.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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