Prince Charles Reveals Uber-Fancy Unseen Portraits Of Harry And Will

The Princes like you've never seen them before.

Prince Charles is celebrating his 70th birthday by giving a gift to us, and that is the gift of art. Not just any old art, but some very fancy-looking, never-before-seen portraits of his boys, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, from his personal collection. Hurrah!

Image: Nicky Philipps, Preparatory sketches of Prince Harry and Prince William, 2009 © Nicky Philipps. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust.

Princes Harry and Will were aged 23 and 26 when they were painted by artist Nicky Philipps in 2009, and are pictured in the pair of preparatory oil sketches wearing the Blues and Royals regimental dress uniform of the Household Cavalry.

Nicky Philipps, Preparatory sketches of Prince Harry and Prince William, 2009 © Nicky Philipps. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust.

The oil portraits usually hang in Charles' private residence in Gloucestershire, Highgrove House, which he shares with his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, but because he's celebrating the big 7-0, the heir to the British throne is sharing his prized family pics with the world. For he's a jolly good fellow, indeed.

Nicky Philipps, Preparatory sketches of Prince Harry and Prince William, 2009 © Nicky Philipps. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust.

You'll have to head to bonny England to catch a glimpse of the paintings, which will be displayed at a special exhibit called Prince & Patron during the summer opening of Buckingham Palace -- that's July 21 to September 30, 2018 if you're booking tickets. We're pretty tempted ...

It'll be worth the trip, however, as along with the Harry and Will's portraits Prince Charles is loaning images of his father, Prince Philip, and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth I, also from his personal collection.

Michael Noakes, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, 1973 © Anya and Jonathan Noakes. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust.

The Prince of Wales is said to be particularly fond of his late grandmother's portrait -- which was painted by artist Michael Noakes to mark the silver wedding anniversary of his parents in 1972 -- and says in a recorded message for the exhibit, "I admire it often when in residence at Clarence House.”

Bryan Organ, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, 1983 © Bryan Organ. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust. 

Another private piece that is close to the 69-year-old princes' heart is the sketch of his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, from 1983. While the final portrait depicts the 97-year-old at three-quarter-length -- it hangs in the National Portrait Gallery -- this special pencil sketch by artist Bryan Organ captures prince consort in a more intimate manner.

A big happy birthday to the Prince, and three cheers for his generosity in sharing his favourite family pics with us all. Charles is set to appear on a special Royal Week of MasterChef so start practicing your curtsy stat.

MasterChef airs Sunday to Thursday on TEN and tenplay

Feature image: Getty.