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King Charles III appears on Big Issue magazine cover to launch food poverty project

In a world exclusive, King Charles writes for Big Issue about the launch of the Coronation Food Project, ahead of his 75th birthday

King Charles in Black and White

The King by Rankin for Big Issue

King Charles III turns 75 on 14 November and is determined to use the occasion to shine the spotlight on a good cause – with an exclusive message for the UK and the world told through The Big Issue.

For months, he has been developing the Coronation Food Project, to redirect surplus food to those who need it. The King writes about the project in next week’s edition of The Big Issue, available from Monday (13 November), with an exclusive cover portrait taken by renowned photographer Rankin at Clarence House to mark the Monarch’s birthday.

Inside The Big Issue, the King writes: “For many years, I have been deeply concerned about the amount of food which goes to waste across our nation. At every stage of the food production process, millions of tonnes of food are sadly discarded.

“To mark my 75th birthday in this Coronation year, I could ask for no greater gift than that the Coronation Food Project creates a lasting legacy to help others – and help the planet.

“Food need is as real and urgent a problem as food waste – and if a way could be found to bridge the gap between them, then it would address two problems in one.”

Rankin said: “It was an absolute honour to shoot this specifically for The Big Issue and specifically around the Coronation Food Project, which I’m a big supporter of.”

The Coronation Food Project aims to support the supply of 200 million meals for those experiencing food insecurity in the UK.

To read the full message from the King, and learn more about the initiative, buy The Big Issue from your local vendor from Monday.

Rankin described what aspect of the King the picture brings out: “With every picture, you’re always drawn to different aspects of a personality. I’ve always thought that he’s a very resilient human being. I think that’s what I got from him, that kind of steely determination.”

The King by Rankin for Big Issue

This is not Rankin’s first historic royal portrait. He also photographed the Queen in 2001 to mark her Golden Jubilee.

And the King’s birthday collaboration with The Big Issue follows that of the Prince of Wales. William sold The Big Issue undercover alongside vendor Dave Martin last year, and appeared on the cover for his 40th birthday.

Prince William and Big Issue vendor, Dave Martin selling the magazine. Photo credit: Andy Parsons

King Charles’ own history with The Big Issue goes back decades. He opened a Big Issue office not long after the organisation launched in the 1990s. At the time he even met a former schoolmate who had fallen on hard times and become a Big Issue vendor to earn an income.

Vendors who sell the magazine continue to be their own mini-enterprises, buying magazines for £2 and selling them to the public for £4, keeping the difference.

You can buy a copy of this special edition featuring King Charles’s exclusive portrait by Rankin from Monday 13 November from a vendor in the street. If you don’t have a local vendor, you can subscribe or buy a copy online.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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