World 'I Painted Prince Philip—He Was Nothing Like His Public Persona'
Prince Philip Dead — the Love of Queen Elizabeth's Life Was 99
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband," a royal communications statement read Friday . "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. "Further announcements will be made in due course. "The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss." Prince Philip — who retired from his public duties in August 2017 — is survived by his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
My portrait of Prince Philip came about in a slightly tangential way. A charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK, approached me about it and I was selected from several artists they put forward. In retrospect, I can see that Philip's interest in painting might have had something to do with it, but it's equally possible I could also simply have been chosen at random!
I was quite surprised since I wasn't someone who had followed theparticularly closely, but by 2006 I had become known for painting portraits, and, in my mind anyway, was an edgy, contemporary portraitist.
Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband and closest confidant and advisor, dies at 99
The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, was the undisputed master of the British royal household for more than seven decades. Philip was known equally as a curmudgeon and a charmer who could quickly put nervous guests at ease with an easy (and sometimes outrageous) one-liner. Courtiers, his own children and the queen herself backed down under the quick flash of his temper, and guests at Buckingham Palace were expected to stay up to speed with his lively intellect and encyclopedic command of facts or were hastily dismissed as not worth the duke’s time.
At that time, Prince Philip had begun to be seen in a slightly caricatured way, and I felt some recent paintings of him were influenced by that. Yet if you create a really good portrait, they become a historical document, especially with people like him who don't give themselves up to being interviewed very often.
So I wanted to make it interesting, but above all I wanted to make it accurate.
I had painted a few well-known and interesting people by that stage, like Tony Blair and Nicole Kidman, but Prince Philip was slightly different. He was one of those people who have been in your field of view since your childhood, people who feel part of the landscape.
His office didn't communicate through emails or phone calls at that time, so all the arrangements were done by post. Visiting Buckingham Palace, where the sittings for the portrait took place, is a little like stepping back into a space where time has no meaning. You go into a building with a lot of gold and ornate detail, but it's also got the slightly rough edges of a boarding school.
Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s Activist Husband, Dies at 99
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband and confidant of the U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth II since 1947, has died. He was 99. The prince “passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” according to an emailed statement Friday from the Queen’s officials.Philip’s death comes at a moment of profound change for the U.K. Five years after the vote to leave the European Union, Britain is trying to heal the wounds from the Brexit process, while recovering from the pandemic that pushed the economy into its deepest recession for 300 years.
There's a dedicated room in the Palace for the purpose, presumably because they are asked to sit for portraits on such a regular basis. So there were several others on the go at the time and one in particular that dominated the room. It must have been 12 or 15 feet long and then my tiny 12-by-15-inch canvas was nearby on this little easel.
Meeting members of the royal family is typically very regimented, and on the whole you stand in a certain place so they come in and converse with you. I think Prince Philip may have rung down first, but he then came in, walked straight past us, and completely ignored the protocols we'd been told to expect. He walked over, inspected the canvas and sort of said: "Is that it?" His attitude was: well, let's get on with it. There was no nonsense.
When painting a portrait, one of the first things is to ensure that people are not feeling self-conscious. The more natural they are, the more likely you are to see the real person, and obviously the whole point of painting someone is to depict who they really are.
Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas’ Ups and Downs Through the Years
Rewriting the song of their lives! Taylor Swift and Joe Jonas have come a long way since their whirlwind romance in summer of 2008. The “Exile” singer and the Jonas Brothers musician made headlines in October 2008 when their messy split was exposed. After dating for three months, Swift revealed that Jonas broke up with her in 27 seconds on the phone. The Cats actress then poured her feelings about the heartbreak into “Forever & Always,” which she released one month after the split was made public. “Oh, I stare at the phone, he still hasn’t called / And then you feel so low you can’t feel nothing at all / And you flashback to when we said forever and always,” she sings. After learning that the Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation actor had quickly started dating actress Camilla Belle, Swift again penned a song to express her feelings. Many fans believe “Better Than Revenge” was directed at the actress who dated Jonas from 2008 to 2009, despite the fact that the Disney Channel alum insisted he “never cheated on a girlfriend” via his MySpace at the time. “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think / She’s an actress, whoa / She’s better known for the things that she does / On the mattress, whoa / Soon she’s gonna find / Stealing other people’s toys on the playground / Won’t make you many friends,” Swift sings in the revenge tune.
As he had obviously sat for portraits before, the first hour was less about that sense of easing him into it, than both of us, but particularly him, sizing up the dynamic. He had committed to a few sittings and had to be with me for that time, and he was known as someone who didn't suffer fools. I imagine he was trying to work out whether it was going to be interesting for him.
With some paintings there can be a bit of a dilemma about where the subject's eyes should be looking, because you know it will shape the process and the experience of people seeing it. But this wasn't one of those. I was very certain from the start that I would use a direct gaze for Philip. He was engaging and engaged by people. If he came into the room, there wasn't any way you weren't going to be aware of him.
The conversation, as I remember it, was very wide-ranging. He clearly wanted to learn but also educate you at the same time. There was definitely a competitive edge to his intellectual curiosity, a sort of restlessness. We discussed news and current affairs and he was very interested in what was going on around the world. I was particularly struck by his interest in science and the environment.
Analysis: The Queen has lost her 'strength and stay'
Prince Philip's death will change how the monarchy operates.(CNN) -- You may notice this week's edition of Royal News is a little late. We'll be honest -- we had an entirely different version of the newsletter ready for you. But minutes before hitting send, we got the word from Buckingham Palace breaking the news of Prince Philip's death.
I think we had four sittings in total and I quickly learnt you had to be on your toes with Prince Philip. He certainly wasn't a docile character and, above all, there was always a sense that something was about to happen.
I got the impression he liked to be challenged, challenge others, and to win. I grew up with a father who was a politician, so I was quite used to people who liked picking abstract intellectual fights. I like to think there were a couple of times when I persuaded him of a different point of view on something, but mostly it was the other way around.
At one point in a sitting, he asked me what stage of the painting I was on, and at first I put it down to the fact that he was so used to sitting for portraits that he knew the steps. I started to realize, as he was getting more precise and asking about the colors, brushes and thinners, that it was more than curiosity or politeness. I asked if he had ever done any painting himself, and he told me that he had learned quite a few years prior and had actually taken it up again more recently. I was very curious.
After we had chatted for a while about what he was doing, Philip said he was going to bring his work to the next sitting and show me. I have a few positive-sounding platitudes for when people show me their work and it isn't very good, but it was quite obvious by then that Philip was a black-and-white thinker and would have noticed that and put me on the spot. So, I slightly nervously went along to the next sitting, hoping that he might have forgotten.
Prince William No Longer Appearing at BAFTAs Following the Death of Grandfather Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh was the first President of the British Academy of Film and Television ArtsWilliam, who has been President of the BAFTAs since 2010, has withdrawn from the event this year due to the death of his grandfather Prince Philip.
I needn't have worried, because it turned out he didn't ask if I thought they were good. He wasn't showing his paintings to me because he wanted approval, he wanted practical help to improve.
The other thing was, they were rather good and very different to what I had expected. He seemed such an alpha male, with a restless intellect, yet his paintings were impressionistic with soft and pretty, romantic colors. I had somehow assumed his work would be bolder, graphic or hard-edged somehow and they took me by surprise.
At the end of the final sitting, Philip came around to look at the portrait and smiled. But he didn't say anything. I was made aware at some point later that protocol dictates that royals don't comment on portraits or make value judgments.
Hopefully it does what I set out to do, which is capture who he was at that time.
As a person to spend time with, Philip was utterly fascinating and I remember trying to figure out afterward, why was it that he was so different from what I had expected. For someone who was born a century ago and clearly surrounded and insulated by institutions and structures that were from even further back, he wasn't "stuck in another time" as he was often depicted. I couldn't help thinking that as a clever man, he could have certainly done something about the public perception of him if he had wanted to.
You never know which of your work will turn out to have long term significance. I don't follow a formula, and you don't always have a say in when the stars will align. I just tried to play it straight and be honest about who I had encountered in Philip.
Prince Charles breaks the royal family's public silence after Prince Philip's death: 'I miss my father enormously'
The Prince of Wales is the first of Queen and Prince Philip's four children to share a statement after the death of their father.Prince Philip, who was 99, died on Friday morning at Windsor Castle, according to Buckingham Palace.
But when I was catching up on social media on the evening of April 9, the day Philip died, I realized that a huge number of people had shared my painting of him.
It was lovely to see that this little portrait from 15 years ago is not just one that people recognize, but even something that can be an emotional touchstone at a moment like this. But I don't take it too much from it. It's sort of like one of your children doing something well, you're just proud, in a way, that you're vaguely responsible.
Jonathan Yeo is one of the world's leading figurative artists. He has painted and worked with iconic and celebrated figures around the world. Yeo lives and works in London.
All views expressed in this article are the author's own.
As told to Jenny Haward.
Remembering Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh .
As consort to Queen Elizabeth II, he was Britain's "first gentleman"; "Sunday Morning" looks back on the life of Prince Phillip, who died this week at the age of 99.But the Duke of Edinburgh's legacy is far broader than the time he spent in the service.