Prince George’s Christmas painting suggests he shares King’s artistic talent

The Prince and Princess of Wales have shared a festive picture painted by their nine-year-old son, Prince George, which indicates that the future king might share his grandfather’s artistic talent.

William and Kate tweeted the image of a reindeer in the snow with two robins, alongside the message “Happy Christmas!”

Painting runs in the royal family, with the King known to have an artistic streak.

Charles has previously described how he finds painting so relaxing that it “transports me into another dimension”.

Earlier this year, 79 of Charles’s watercolours – the first full exhibition of his work in the medium – were exhibited at the Garrison Chapel in Chelsea, south-west London.

The atmospheric paintings depicted Scottish landscapes such as the Huna Mill in John O’Groats and Glen Callater near Balmoral, as well as outdoor scenes from Provence in the south of France and Tanzania in East Africa – one of his favourite places to paint.

In a display panel, Charles revealed that the hobby “refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can’t reach”, and that he turned to painting after finding little joy in photography.

As then-Prince of Wales, Charles signed a book of his watercolours which were to be auctioned for charity (Steve Parsons/PA)
The then-Prince of Wales signed a book of his watercolours which were to be auctioned for charity (Steve Parsons/PA)

The King admitted he was “appalled” by the quality of his early sketches.

He wrote: “I very quickly discovered how incredibly difficult it is to paint well in such a spontaneous medium, and the feeling of frustration at not being able to achieve on paper the image that your eye has presented you with is intense.

“Looking back now at those first sketches I did, I am appalled by how bad they are. But, nevertheless, the great thing about painting is that you are making your own individual interpretation of whatever view you have chosen.”

He added: “I am under no illusion that my sketches represent great art or a burgeoning talent.

“They represent, more than anything else, my particular form of ‘photograph album’ and, as such, mean a great deal to me.”

A watercolour painted by Prince Charles in 2012 entitled ‘Lochnagar from the Gelder Cottage’ (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A watercolour painted by Charles in 2012, entitled Lochnagar From The Gelder Cottage (Andrew Matthews/PA)

In October, a print of a watercolour of Balmoral by Charles was bought at auction for more than eight times its estimate.

In what was thought to be the first time a print by a reigning monarch has been sold at auction, a private British collector paid £5,738.

Prints that Charles has done in the past have usually fetched between £400 and £600.

The framed print of the castle in the Scottish Highlands, where the late Queen spent her final days earlier this year, was signed and dated “Charles 2001” in pencil and was accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

A signed limited-edition print of a watercolour featuring Balmoral Castle by the King was auctioned off in October (Jane Barlow/PA)
A signed limited-edition print of a watercolour of Balmoral Castle by the King was auctioned in October (Jane Barlow/PA)

Charles paints whenever his schedule allows and he usually takes his treasured sailcloth and leather painting bag with him on royal tours in the hope he will have time to do so.

His interest – fostered by his art master at Gordonstoun school, Robert Waddell – grew in the 1970s and 1980s as he was able to meet leading artists.

He discussed watercolour technique with the late Edward Seago and received further tuition from professionals such as Derek Hill, John Ward and Bryan Organ.

An exhibition at Hampton Court Palace in 1998, held to mark the prince’s 50th birthday, displayed 50 of his watercolours, while the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition in 2018 to celebrate his 70th birthday showed 30 pieces.

The Duke of Edinburgh is also known to have had a love for painting (PA)

George’s great-grandfather, the late Duke of Edinburgh, was also interested in art and design, having painted mostly landscapes in oils, according to the Royal Collection Trust.

One such picture, featured on the trust’s website, is Duart Castle from the Sound of Mull.

It was painted during one of the Royal Yacht Britannia’s summer cruises around the Western Isles, the trust said.