New royal portrait creeps out the public

One would expect a commissioned portrait of the Royal Family to be brimming with majestic poses, stately looking chins and generally regal aura.

But since its unveiling on November 15, artist Thomas Kluge’s depiction of the Danish Royal Family, simply entitled 'Kongehuset', has been more frequently compared to a poorly-Photoshopped horror movie poster than an illustration of nobility. Take one glance at it and you’ll see why.

Half of the children look like they could cast members of ‘Children of the Corn’, while a trance-like Prince Christian gazes like a possessed Damien, of 'The Omen' fame, hellbent on bringing malevolence and destruction to the halls Amalienborg.

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The Addams Family?
The international media have been quick to recognise the ‘uniqueness’ of the portrait.

The Daily Mail compared the depiction of the royal family to the Addams Family, while wrote that the Royal Family looked like they could be starring in a sequel to ‘The Omen’. The website Buzzfeed characterised it as "super creepy" and wrote: "We’re not saying 'All Hail the Satanic overlords', but we’re also not not saying that.

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Artist: “It’s satire”
But Kluge, who spent four years working on the portrait, was surprised by the negative reactions.

"I was trying to take out realistic depictions because we live in a democratic world and I think our queen and her family are now symbolic," he told the Independent newspaper. "This is satire."

As for eight-year-old Prince Christian, who is second in line to the throne, Kluge argued that he put him in front in order to convey the responsibilities he will face when he grows up and eventually assumes the crown.

"I have put him in front of a theatre-like scene with light coming from below to show how he has not grown up but that we, the viewer, expect him to bring this kingdom into the future. I wanted to show that weight on his shoulders," Kluge said.

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Open for public viewing
The Royal Family has yet to comment on all of the negative attention surrounding the painting, but Kluge said Queen Margrethe had approved his work.

“She was very kindly and warm and it was a great pleasure for me so I have a great feeling for that," he said.

The controversial painting can be viewed by the public at Danish Royal Collections at Amalienborg Palace from November to March 2014, before being moved to its permanent position at Fredensborg Palace in north Zealand.


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