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The headline-hitting portrait of King Charles III by the artist Jonathan Yeo has been defaced by two animal rights activists. The group Animal Rising posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) showing two protestors covering the painting with Wallace and Gromit stickers. The portrait is on show at Philip Mould gallery in London until 21 June.

A picture of Wallace, from the children’s film series Wallace and Gromit, was stuck to Yeo’s work alongside a quote which states: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms.” Animal Rising also stated in its social media post: “Find out why King Charles, patron of the RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals], should ask them to drop the Assured Scheme”

The latter refers to what the campaign group calls “the biggest exposé on RSCPA assured farms in history” adding that “for 30 years, the RSPCA has endorsed animal products through their RSPCA Assured scheme, promoting an idealised image of happy, well-cared-for farm animals. This portrayal is a lie.”

The RSPCA says: “We cannot condone illegal activity of any kind. Our staff and volunteers work extremely hard rescuing, caring for, and speaking up for animals. Animal Rising’s sustained activity is distracting from our focus on the work that really matters—helping thousands of animals every day.” It says its Assured scheme is “the best way to help farmed animals right now, while campaigning to change their lives in the future”. It adds that “concerns about welfare on RSPCA Assured certified farms are taken extremely seriously and RSPCA Assured is acting swiftly to look into these allegations. After receiving the footage on Sunday morning, RSPCA Assured has launched an immediate, urgent investigation.”

Philip Mould told The Telegraph newspaper he was “delighted to say there was absolutely no damage” to the painting. Gallery staff reportedly unpeeled the Wallace and Gromit stickers.

The portrait of the monarch, unveiled on 14 May, shows Charles wearing the uniform of the Welsh Guards, sword in hand, with an eco-friendly butterfly landing on his shoulder.

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