From the blog

UK: King Charles Official Portrait Defaced With Cartoon Characters

King Charles’ first official portrait was vandalized by animal rights campaigners while on display at a gallery in London.  

Two protesters from group called Animal Rising climbed over security rope in front of shocked visitors before defacing the painting with Wallace and Gromit-inspired poster.

The duo covered the monarch’s face with an image of the animated character Wallace and stuck a speech bubble to the painting with a message about ‘cruelty’ on RSPCA farms. The painting – which was partly inspired by the King’s history of environmental work – is understood to be kept behind Perspex, so should not have been damaged.

Animal Rising are calling on King Charles to suspend his support for the charity, of which he is the Royal Patron, until they drop the Assured Scheme – which is there to protect animal welfare standards.

Daniel Juniper and Ben Thomas put up the stickers and stood in reception until they were asked to leave. They stayed nearby the gallery for around 2 hours, but police never showed.

‘With King Charles being such a big fan of Wallace and Gromit, we couldn’t think of a better way to draw his attention to the horrific scenes on RSPCA Assured farms,’ Juniper said.

‘Even though we hope this is amusing to His Majesty, we also call on him to seriously reconsider if he wants to be associated with the awful suffering across farms being endorsed by the RSPCA.

‘Charles has made it clear he is sensitive to the suffering of animals in UK farms; now is the perfect time for him to step up and call on the RSPCA to drop the Assured Scheme and tell the truth about animal farming.’

‘We are calling on the RSPCA to drop the assured scheme and for King Charles to stand up for the animals and the environment that he loves and start protecting it by getting the RSPCA to drop the assurance scheme.

‘We didn’t damage the painting at all. The painting is covered in glass.

The action is an attempt by the group to raise awareness for their recent investigation into 45 RSPCA Assured farms where they allegedly found 280 legal breaches and 94 breaches of DEFRA regulations. The activists claim to have found animal cruelty and suffering at each farm, including alleged scenes of dead and dying baby chickens, dead pigs left in farm walkways, and salmon being eaten alive by sea lice. 

Orla Coghlan, an Animal Rising spokesperson, said: ‘Just as Feathers McGraw fooled Wallace into a bank heist, the RSPCA has been fooling the British public into thinking their factory farms are – in any way – an acceptable place for animals to live. 

‘It’s clear from the scenes across 45 RSPCA Assured farms that there’s no kind way to farm animals.

Gallery owner Philip Mould told the PA news agency: ‘We had anticipated that there might be these types of responses.

‘The painting is safely secured in its frame with protective layers.

‘One always lives with that thought these days. I wasn’t hugely surprised.