Portraits of the King will be hung in council buildings across Hertfordshire as part of a government scheme.

A new official portrait of King Charles III was recently unveiled by the Cabinet Office, with public institutions up and down the country able to apply to receive a free copy.

Hertfordshire County Council, Stevenage Borough Council and North Herts Council all confirmed that they are applying for their own copies. The scheme is expected to cost the government £8m.

The photograph depicts the King, in full military regalia, at Windsor Castle last year. It was captured by Hugh Burnand, who photographed the King and Queen's Coronation portraits and their wedding in 2005.


Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister, said that "displaying this new portrait will serve as a reminder to us all of the example set by our ultimate public servant".

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: "The UK government considers it right that public authorities, as part of the fabric of our nation, have the opportunity to commemorate this moment [the King's ascension], strengthen civil pride and reflect the new era in our history."

But Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic, said that the initiative is a "shameful waste of money": "At a time when a majority of local councils are raising taxes and cutting public services, when schools and hospitals are struggling, to spend even £1 on this nonsense would be £1 too much."

The portraits are expected to be delivered to councils between February and April.