Press Release

The King is photographed by Rankin for the Big Issue to mark his 75th birthday in world exclusive

King Charles in Black and White

The King by Rankin for Big Issue

Today (Friday 10th November) it has been revealed that a portrait of King Charles to mark his 75th birthday, taken by globally renowned photographer Rankin, will be on the cover of the Big Issue magazine.

The Monarch, who turns 75 on 14th November, has also written a piece for the magazine.

The King writes about the importance of finding practical ways to bridge the gap between food waste and food need. He explains that this has led him to use his birthday to shine the spotlight on food insecurity and food waste to create a “lasting legacy to help others”.

You can read the King’s full message in the Big Issue magazine on sale from 13th November, available from vendors across the country.

The Coronation Food Project seeks to rescue surplus food from farms, supermarkets and manufacturers, distributing it to those who are most in need, building on existing work by charities including FareShare and The Felix Project.

The Big Issue speaks to the people at the helm of the project, co-chairs, Baroness Louise Casey and Dame Martina Milburn, about their vision for the future of the initiative. There are also interviews with people working on the frontline, fighting food poverty on a day-to-day basis.

Rankin, one of Britain’s best-known photographers, 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, and is something we don’t talk about enough,”

He continued: “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.”

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

Paul McNamee, Editor of the Big Issue, said: “King Charles’ support for the Big Issue goes back decades. He opened one of our London offices in the 90s, when he met an old school friend, who was selling the magazine. 

“The King’s attachment to the Big Issue has remained strong since, as has that of the entire Royal family and we’re delighted he gave us his time, and his words. Equally, we understand the pressures millions of Britons face over food costs and supplies, and we back the Coronation Food Project. 

“The cover comes at a key moment, when vendors face a tough winter. This will hopefully boost their sales, which is at the heart of why we exist.”

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue, said: ““It’s grand that King Charles has his portrait on the cover of the Big Issue. 

“His Majesty has long been a supporter of The Big Issue. He opened London Big Issue offices. During one opening, some 26 years ago, he met one of his old school friends who was then selling The Big Issue. 

“Please do buy a copy from your local vendor or a copy from the Big Issue Shop.”

The Prince of Wales, William, sold the Big Issue undercover alongside Big Issue vendor, Dave Martin last year and subsequently appeared on the cover for his 40th birthday.

You can buy a copy of the magazine featuring The King’s exclusive portrait by Rankin from Monday 13th November from a vendor in the street, if you don’t have a local vendor, you can subscribe or buy a copy online at www.bigissueshop.com.

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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