Controversial new King Charles portrait vandalised with giant Wallace and Gromit sticker by animal rights protesters

11 June 2024, 13:46 | Updated: 11 June 2024, 15:52

Protesters covered the new portrait with an image from Wallace and Gromit.
Protesters covered the new portrait with an image from Wallace and Gromit. Picture: X/AnimalRising

By Jenny Medlicott

Animal Rising protesters have put a giant sticker over the new portrait of King Charles at the Philip Mould Gallery in London.

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The protesters defaced the latest portrait of the King at around midday on Tuesday in an attack on the RSPCA.

A video shared by the group online shows two members from the group gluing over an image of Wallace, from the stop-motion animation Wallace and Gromit, over the King’s face and a speech bubble next to it.

The speech bubble reads: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSCPA farms!”

Animal Rising said the incident was aimed at highlighting the animal rights group's alleged "damning investigation" into 45 RSPCA "assured" farms.

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The King is royal patron of the RSPCA and Animal Rising called on the monarch to suspend his support for the charity.

Daniel Juniper, a former early years practitioner and one of those involved, said: "With King Charles being such a big fan of Wallace and Gromit, we couldn't think of a better way to draw his attention to the horrific scenes on RSPCA Assured farms.

"Even though we hope this is amusing to His Majesty, we also call on him to seriously reconsider if he wants to be associated with the awful suffering across farms being endorsed by the RSPCA.

"Charles has made it clear he is sensitive to the suffering of animals in UK farms; now is the perfect time for him to step up and call on the RSPCA to drop the Assured Scheme and tell the truth about animal farming."

The portrait is on public display at the Philip Mould Gallery in London.

The protesters stuck the giant poster over the new portrait.
The protesters stuck the giant poster over the new portrait. Picture: X/AnimalRising

Last month, the artwork was unveiled as the first official portrait of the King since his Coronation.

It was first commissioned in 2020 to celebrate the then-Prince of Wales’s 50 years as a member of The Drapers’ Company.

The artist Jonathan Yeo began the work in 2021 with the first sittings at Highgrove and Clarence House.

Animal Rising describes itself as a non-violent, people-powered organisation working towards a sustainable future where humanity shares a positive relationship with animals and nature.

The report on the RSPCA, released by Animal Rising on Sunday, contains findings from investigations on 45 farms across the UK featuring chickens, pigs, salmon, and trout.

It alleges 280 legal breaches and 94 breaches of Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) regulations, with Animal Rising calling on the RSPCA to drop the scheme.

The RSPCA said: "We are shocked by this vandalism of His Majesty King, our Patron’s, portrait.

"We welcome scrutiny of our work, but we cannot condone illegal activity of any kind. Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard rescuing, caring for, and speaking up for animals.

"Animal Rising’s sustained activity is distracting from our focus on the work that really matters - helping thousands of animals every day."

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