King Charles Gifted a Painting of Himself to the Dubai Royal Family, As Kings Do

commemorative portrait of king charles iii unveiled
King Charles Gifted a Painting of HimselfFrancois Nel - Getty Images
  • King Charles III's coronation was commemorated with a portrait by Dubai artist Sacha Jafri.

  • King Charles himself opted to send that portrait to the Dubai Royal family as a gift.

  • King Charles has had a friendship with the Al Maktoum for decades.

Think about a friend of yours, one who maybe you don't keep in touch with as much as you like, but who you have a long history with. Now imagine that friend going through a major life change, a big promotion they've been dreaming of for a long time. But despite all the craziness going on, you find out they got you a gift. How great is that?

And then it arrives, and it turns out the big surprise gift is ... a picture of them. Just a big ol' picture of themselves. How's that going over?

Well, for most of us, we'd consider that a gifting faux-pas. But apparently in the world of the ultra-wealthy and powerful, this is totally normal practice. And that's why King Charles III decided that the thing his buddies in the Dubai Royal family really needed was a portrait of King Charles III at his coronation, painted by celebrated Dubai artist Sacha Jafri.

commemorative portrait of king charles iii unveiled
Sacha Jafri posing with his work, entitled King Charles III CoronationFrancois Nel - Getty Images

The painting in question, entitled “King Charles III Coronation,” was completed "after weeks of work from Jafri, who started the piece earlier this month while at the British Embassy in the UAE for the festivities," according to Esquire. The work is intended to be "a celebration of both the UAE and the U.K. King’s commitment to religious freedom, with ‘Defender of All Faiths’ painted clearly above the royal."

Charles opted to send the gift in commemoration of his long history with the Royal Al Maktoum family, ever since the new U.K. monarch "first visited HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, since 1989, when he was the UAE’s Minister of Defense."

Of course, this whole thing might seem a little odd to those of us in the U.S. Over here, our leaders aren't really in the practice of sending large portraits of themselves to other governments. Our leaders do things far more sensibly here, like spending $60k of charity money on a portrait of themselves. That's the American way.

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