Prince Philip has proved charm doesn’t fade with age in an incredible new portrait set to go on display in the UK and Denmark next year.
Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans painted the captivating depiction of the royal for the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark to celebrate the prince’s heritage.
The painting aims to explore the historical and cultural connections between the British and Danish royal families, a fitting theme considering Philip was Prince Philip of Denmark before marrying Queen Elizabeth II.
“Painting this work in the year of the Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement from public duties felt particularly poignant and informed the multi-layered narrative of the portrait,” Heimans told The Australian.
Set in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle, the 96-year-old is shown wearing the Order of the Elephant, Denmark’s highest ranking honour.
The prince is connected to the Scandinavian country through his grandfather George I (of Greece) who was originally a Danish Prince born in Copenhagen and his great grandfather, Christian IX, who was King of Denmark from 1863 to 1906.
“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to paint Prince Philip and hope the portrait does justice to his unique character,” Heimans continued.
Paying homage to Philip’s ancestors, at the end of the Grand Corridor (in the portrait) is the Tapestry Room, where Philip’s mother, Princess Alice and maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria were born.
The corridor in the portrait is also decorated with significant family treasures, including a white marble bust of Princess Alice and Princess Victoria.
It also features the Royal Copenhagen porcelain ‘Flora Danica’ dinner and dessert service, a wedding gift for Philip and the Queen from Albert Edward, Prince of Wales to Princess Alexander of Denmark.
“There is so much history there,” Heimans said. “The light streaming through the windows and marble busts lining the corridor created a visual rhythm that was suggestive to me of the passing of time.”
It’s not the first time Heiman has painted a royal. He has previously painted Princess Mary of Denmark and was the first artist to be granted a sitting with Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee.