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The National Portrait Gallery has released a book to mark the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, which will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey. Titled Charles III: The Making of a King, it features a series of 70 works which offer an intimate glimpse into the life of the monarch. Showcasing the work of some of the most well-known photographers of all time, including Cecil Beaton and Lord Snowdon (grandfather of Tatler cover star Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones), the book is a tribute to former Prince of Wales as he enters this next historic chapter of his life.

Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, by John Swannell, 1994

John Swannell/Camera Press/National Portrait Gallery London

The book includes photographs of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Consort, Prince William, Prince Harry and Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as formal portraits of the King at different stages of his life. One of the earliest photos shows a young Prince Charles waving from the balcony at Buckingham Palace in 1956, his mother, father and sister by his side. Among the most poignant images included in the collection is a 1994 black and white photo by John Swannell that shows Diana, Princess of Wales, laughing with her two sons. A separate photograph shows Diana and Charles with their sons in the years before their divorce.

Dr Alison Smith, Chief Curator of the National Portrait Gallery, explores how the portraits depict King Charles III throughout his life in the introduction to the book, and says, ‘Charles stands out in the history of the British monarchy for being an activist royal, and the portraits that chart the course of his life testify to the many interests he has developed alongside his official duties.’

Charles III: The Making of a King is available in-store and online.

  • Charles Prince of Wales Birkhall Aberdeenshire by Nadav Kander 20 August 2013

    Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery

    Charles, Prince of Wales, Birkhall, Aberdeenshire, by Nadav Kander, 20 August 2013

  • John Swannell/Camera Press/National Portrait Gallery London

    Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Charles, Prince of Wales, by John Swannell, 2000

  • National Portrait Gallery London

    Charles, Prince of Wales, by Bryan Organ, 1980

  • National Portrait Gallery London

    Charles, Prince of Wales, Buckingham Palace, London, by Bern Schwartz, 30 March 1977