New King Charles portrait vandalized by animal rights activists

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Animal rights activists vandalized a new portrait of King Charles III Tuesday as it was displayed at a London gallery.

Two men, whom British media reported were from the group Animal Rising, were filmed pasting an image of the face of the character Wallace from the cartoon Wallace and Gromit over the king's face, along with a speech bubble with the words: "No cheese Gromit, look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!"

— Animal Rising (@AnimalRising) June 11, 2024

The painting, by British artist Jonathan Yeo, was unveiled last month to mixed reviews. 

The work, on display at London's Philip Mould Gallery, shows Charles with a butterfly appearing to land on his right shoulder as he emerges from a fiery red background. Some social media comments said it looked like King Charles was "bathing in blood," while another said it was "the worst royal portrait I've ever seen."

The activist group claimed responsibility for the protest vandalism in social media posts, pointing to its recent report on the "RSPCA Assured" label attached to some food products, which is intended to indicate high animal welfare standards.

The group has called on King Charles to suspend his support of the RSPCA charity, of which he is a royal patron, claiming its own investigation into 45 farms in Britain that carry the RSPCA Assured certification "found instances of poor animal welfare" on each farm.

Haley Ott

Haley Ott is the CBS News Digital international reporter, based in the CBS News London bureau.

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