Schools have been invited to request a free portrait of King Charles III under a government scheme costing £8 million.
An invite sent to schools from the Department for Education (DfE) today states that those wishing to take up the offer must apply before 2 February.
Delivery of the image of the King in “ceremonial dress with decorations” will take place between February and April next year.
FAQs also shared with schools stated the photo will be A3 sized, printed on “high quality paper” and double mounted in a “glazed frame of FSC certified oak”.
Schools are told that there is “no obligation” to take down portraits of Her late Majesty once they receive their portraits of Charles.
The image could be hung in “reception areas, function rooms, boardrooms and similar locations where the portrait may be on display to staff and visitors”, the government added.
The Cabinet Office first announced the scheme back in April, with all public bodies able to apply for a framed portrait of the monarch “as part of a scheme to celebrate the new reign”.
Councils, courts, police forces and fire and rescue services are among the other organisations able to participate.
The government said at the time that portraits of Queen Elizabeth II are currently on display in “many public institutions” and the offer would enable them to “carry on that tradition”.
But schools will not be able to see the portrait before they submit their requests, with the photo due to be formally released by the royal household in December.
Invitation sent on King Charles’ 75th birthday
The government FAQs added that given His Majesty’s “commitment to the environment”, delivery will be organised to “maximise efficiency and minimise cost and environmental impact”.
Meanwhile, both “environmental and sustainability impacts” had been “taken into full consideration” during the selection of materials and processes to manufacture the portraits.
While it was announced ahead of the Coronation in May, the government added that the scheme would be opened later in the year.
Today’s invitation coincides with King Charles’ 75th birthday.
In April, deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden said the new portraits “will serve as a visible reminder in buildings up and down the country of the nation’s ultimate public servant”.
A published government contract shows that Cubiquity Limited was awarded £4.4 million last month for the provision of the scheme.
The Cabinet Office said as the scheme is voluntary, the total cost of sending portraits to schools would depend on uptake.
Back in 2021, the DfE said a free book that was later sent to every primary school pupil to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee would cost the government up to £12 million to produce.