Prince Charles Has Made Over $7 Million Selling Prints Of His Art—What?

All profits have gone to his charitable foundation.

The Prince is an accomplished amateur painter. Photo: Court/Getty Images
Prince Charles. Photo: Court/Getty Images

Prince Charles who modestly describes himself as an “enthusiastic amateur” painter has made over £6 million ($7.75 million) from selling prints of his watercolors, it has emerged.

Limited edition prints of the original watercolors by the 67-year-old heir to the British throne reportedly sell for up to £15,000 ($21,668) a pop, and are available to buy at the shop from his country estate in Highgrove, Gloucestershire, as well as from secondary market galleries.

The aristocrat favors watercolor depictions of Royal architecture and landscapes, including paintings of sites such as Windsor castle and the hills at Balmoral and Sandringham.

Prince Charles Beinn a Bhuird (2005) Photo: princeofwales.gov.uk

Prince Charles, Beinn a Bhuird (2005).
Photo: princeofwales.gov.uk

In a 2000 TV documentary, called Royal Paintbox, the Prince said that painting “[…] transports me into another dimension which refreshes parts of the soul which other activities can’t reach.”

“Prince Charles is a very talented artist,” Laura Walford, director of the Belgravia Gallery, which exhibits and sells his work, told the Express. She acknowledged however that “his royal background does push up the price” of the prints.

The British daily calculated that the Prince’s income from his artistic endeavors totals an approximate £200,000 ($288,908) per year, although the proceeds have not gone into his own pocket, but to his charitable foundation.

Rufiji River from Mbuyuni Camp, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania (1997) Photo: princeofwales.gov.uk

Prince Charles, Rufiji River from Mbuyuni Camp, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania (1997).
Photo: princeofwales.gov.uk

Despite the fact that the Prince’s art enjoys a lively market, his work is not enjoyed by everyone. The Guardian‘s art critic Jonathan Jones dismissed his efforts as “ordinary and obviously amateur.” Jones added that  although the paintings “are not awful,” Prince Charles “looks like what he is, a hobby artist.”

Aside from his foray into painting, Prince Charles has been deeply involved in the arts. He co-founded the Prince Charles Drawing School in 2002. Located in London’s Shoreditch, the academy aims to promote access to the arts to all people, regardless of background or circumstance.

The Prince also has a passion for architecture, having served as Royal patron of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings from 1977 to 2009.


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