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'Wallace' takes the throne: King Charles III's official portrait vandalized in animal rights protest

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In a surprising turn of events, an animal rights group has made headlines by altering the newly unveiled portrait of King Charles III. The group, known as Animal Rising, replaced the face of the monarch with that of Wallace, the beloved character from the animated series 'Wallace & Gromit'.

The portrait, a work of British artist Jonathan Yeo, was revealed last month and has since been on display at London’s Philip Mould Gallery. The artwork, which was met with mixed reviews, depicts King Charles with a butterfly landing on his shoulder against a fiery red backdrop.


However, the tranquility of the gallery was disrupted when two activists from Animal Rising swiftly approached the painting and pasted an image of Wallace over the King’s face. Accompanying the image was a speech bubble with the words: "No cheese Gromit, look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!" This act of protest was captured in a video that has since been circulating on social media.

The activists’ message refers to alleged animal cruelty on farms certified by the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA), an animal welfare charity. Animal Rising recently released a report claiming to have found instances of poor animal welfare on each of the 45 RSPCA Assured certified farms they investigated.


In light of these claims, Animal Rising is urging King Charles, who is the Royal Patron of the charity, to withdraw his endorsement until the charity discontinues the Assured Scheme, a program designed to uphold animal welfare standards.


This audacious act of protest certainly stirs up a debate about the effectiveness of such shock tactics in raising awareness about animal rights issues. The extent of the damage to the original portrait remains uncertain at this point.


As we continue to follow this unfolding story, we invite you to share your thoughts. How do you perceive such acts of protest? Do they effectively draw attention to the cause or do they risk overshadowing the issue at hand? What should be the response from the royal household, the artist, and the RSPCA? 



Image: Heide Pinkall | Dreamstime.com and The Royal Family





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