Royal Paintbox – From PBS – HRH The Prince of Wales reveals an extraordinary treasure trove of rarely seen art by members of the Royal Family past and present, exploring a colorful palette of intimate family memory and observation.

Royal Paintbox (2013)
Director: Margy Kinmonth
Writers: Margy Kinmonth
Stars: King Charles III
Genre: Documentary, Family, History
Country: United Kingdom, Australia
Language: English
Release Date: March 2013 (United Kingdom)

In Royal Paintbox, the Prince of Wales reveals an extraordinary treasure trove of work by his forebears, many of whom were accomplished amateur artists, and traces his family’s love of art through the generations. This story is brought to the screen for the first time by award-winning film-maker Margy Kinmonth.

Set against the spectacular landscapes of the Royal Estates and with contributions from Countess Mountbatten of Burma; professional working artist Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret, speaking in her first ever interview on film; Royal Academy of Arts Chief Executive and Secretary Charles Saumarez Smith; Royal biographers Lady Antonia Fraser, Marina Warner, Jehanne Wake and Jane Ridley; Royal tour artists Susannah Fiennes and Warwick Fuller and Lady Roberts, Librarian at Royal Collection Trust, Royal Paintbox contains insights into The Prince of Wales’s own watercolours, and other works by members of the Royal Family past and present.

Speaking about what inspires him to paint, The Prince of Wales says:
„I think, you know, drawing from nature, observing from nature, is absolutely crucial. ’ve obviously been inspired by just looking. It’s usually the light, is what catches my attention. You can look at the same view over and over again and then suddenly one moment, there’s the most magical light.”

The Prince recounts how, as a teenager, the great art which lined the walls of the Royal residences in which he grew up suddenly came alive to him.

“Because when you are small you rush about, you know, pedalling or something up and down the corridors, and you notice nothing. It’s just a background. Suddenly, literally and I must have been 14 or something, suddenly all the pictures on the walls, the furniture, suddenly all came into focus. Do you know what I mean? And they had just been blurred sort of backgrounds which were just there. Then suddenly I started looking.”

The Prince of Wales takes the viewer on a journey into his family archives to reveal works of art by members of the Royal Family – including HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the prolific work of King George III in and his children in the 18th Century, Prince Louis of Battenberg who it is said could have been a professional artist, as well as Queen Alexandra, King Edward VII, Princess Louise, Prince Rupert of The Rhine, Mary Queen of Scots – and a lino cut of a circus horse done by Her Majesty The Queen as a child.

The audience discovers in the film that Queen Victoria drew and painted thousands of sketches and watercolours during her long period of mourning following the death of her husband Prince Albert.

The film also shows how professional, contemporary artist Sarah Armstrong-Jones, the daughter of Princess Margaret, brings the Royal Paintbox story up to date with the inclusion of her paintings and drawings inspired by landscape, with an exhibition of her work at the Redfern Gallery in London.

She maintains that the family link must have helped her talent develop.

“It must come down, you know, I hope we can pass it down to the next generation.”

As an active Patron of the arts, The Prince of Wales is keen to create a record of his foreign tours that goes beyond photography. For over 25 years, The Prince has invited an artist to join the tour party at his own expense. In Australia, artist Warwick Fuller is seen at work on a new oil painting. Former tour artist Susannah Fiennes provides her perspective on the Prince’s passion for art.

“So much of the time he’s on duty and painting allows him a little time for quiet reflection and also a bit of an investigation of things at a deeper level than his whirlwind existence normally allows.”

The Prince shows a selection of the paintings he has done while abroad, and demonstrates a work-in-progress while explaining the power and appeal painting holds for him.


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