H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, KStJ, CD is a member of the British Royal Family. He is a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, being a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary. His Royal Highness commissioned a portrait at the London Studio. The Prince does have an uncanny resemblance to his great grand father Edward VII, in researching his lineage I did come across a portrait which gave me a great deal of inspiration for the sitting. I decided on a profile shot similar to that of Edward VII’s ceremonial portraits. Whilst still maintaining a harshness of lighting. Left (King Edward VII in state robes, about 1905, W. & D. Downey) Prince Michael was born during the Second World War on 4 July 1942, at Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire. He was the third child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, who was a younger brother of King George VI. At the time of his birth Michael was seventh in the line of Succession to the British throne.
Being Colonel of the Kings Royal Hussars, for the first set Prince Michael adorned his regimental uniform. Opting for the Crimson backdrop, I wanted to achieve two things. The first, red is the colour of Royalty, the second crimson is the colour of the Kings Royal Hussars trousers and peak cap.
This distinctive feature, which is unique in the British Army, derives from the honour accorded to the 11th Hussars by Prince Albert. The regiment, then based at Canterbury, formed the escort for the Prince from his arrival at Dover, en route to his wedding in London. The Prince so impressed with the bearing and turnout of the troops, he ordered that they should henceforth wear his livery as a mark of distinction.
For the second set, His Royal Highness changed into his Household frock coat. Opting for a black backdrop, and harsher lighting, I wanted to create a more ambient and vivid portrait. Using intense chiaroscuro to add both mystery and dutiful emotion. This my first Royal portrait sitting, was a smooth and enjoyable experience. To capture history and tradition are two aims I wanted to achieve as a portraitist, in this special sitting I believe I achieved these goals.