Newly unveiled portraits of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, created by artist Dan Llywelyn Hall, have sparked intense reactions and widespread debate among the public and art critics alike. The unusual portraits depict Harry as Charles Edward Stuart, famously known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, and Meghan as Queen Elizabeth Grey, who was married to King Edward IV in 1464. The artwork has been both praised for its creativity and lambasted for its execution, dividing opinion across various platforms.

The poll conducted by Mirror readers revealed overwhelming disapproval of the portraits. Out of nearly 3,000 votes, 2,903 expressed a strong dislike for the artwork, while only 579 found them appealing. The remaining votes were split between indifference and uncertainty, highlighting the polarized views on the pieces titled "Spectre Of The Bonny Prince" and "Returning White Queen."

Critics did not hold back in their assessments of the portraits. Comments ranged from humorous jabs to outright disdain. One reader, identified as Keith201, compared the paintings to Picasso's most abstract period, saying, "If these paintings are the present 'acceptable' standard, there must be only a very few [if any] who can actually paint reasonable likenesses." Another commenter, Budbud, sarcastically questioned the medium used, asking, "What was the medium - finger paint?"

Some readers found the depictions almost laughable. Jellybean66 remarked, "Looks like Harry has been in Meghan's jam pots," while Zeinab Tippie found the comparison to historical figures comical, stating, "This painting of both of them was so comical to see, along with who they compared them to. Harry I could see it. I think they're both a joke."


Despite the criticism, Hall defended his creative choices. He explained that his depiction of Harry as Bonnie Prince Charlie captured a time before Harry met Meghan, drawing a parallel to the young, uncertain royal with his future in the balance. "I thought putting Meghan in the role of the White Queen, who was a Queen Consort and possibly the most influential 'outsider' in Royal history, might have a fine irony to it and not necessarily beyond the realms of reality," Hall said.

Hall, who was the youngest artist to paint a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II, has a notable history of royal portraits. In 2012, at the age of 32, he was commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union to create a portrait of the Queen, which she sat for at Windsor Castle. His portfolio includes a portrait celebrating Prince William's transition to fatherhood, a live painting of the state funeral of the late Queen, and the coronation procession of King Charles III.

The artist's latest works are part of a collection produced for the Society of Antiquaries to mark its 150th anniversary at Burlington House in London's Piccadilly. These works, including 10 new portraits by Hall, draw inspiration from historical royalty and are intended to finance the cataloging and digitization of approximately 25,000 prints and drawings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Despite Hall's intentions and the historical context provided, many critics remain unimpressed. Ghostwriter, a Mirror reader, expressed their dissatisfaction, saying, "I have a six-year-old whose drawings are better than these 'portraits', and are on display at the fridge gallery free of charge for anyone visiting our house to view."

Artistic merit aside, the portraits have fueled discussions on the portrayal of modern royals and the ongoing fascination with their lives. "The royal family is possibly the most enthralling longest-running drama in history," Hall remarked. "It seemed that these figures caught on the knife edge of public opinion were ideal for drawing comparisons from distant monarchs like the exiled princes and princesses of the past, that lurk in the background but are still irrevocably tied to the job."