Britain’s Princes William and Harry have asked for their newly commissioned portrait to be “funky, not boring”.

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The princes will be painted laughing together for the artwork – which is being commissioned by London’s National Portrait Gallery – going against the normal royal protocol of single portraits.

A source close to the royal family told Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper: “The princes only agreed to the portrait if it was funky and not boring.

After much discussion the gallery suggested the painting would show the princes laughing together, with them leaning into each other as if they have just heard a naughty joke.

“The only nod to normal convention is that they will both be wearing their army uniforms.”

Neil Evans, a spokesman for the National Portrait Gallery, said: “We are in the process of commissioning a portrait of the princes. But as is the usual practice with all our portraits, we do not offer information about the commission until it’s complete.”

The painting will be the first for the royal brothers since they sat for artist John Wonnacott for a picture marking the late Queen Mother’s 100th birthday in 2000.

The artist of the new portrait is expected to be paid from the £6 million grant the gallery receives from the British government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Evans added: “At this stage, when an artist has yet to be agreed on, it is premature to come to a view on the source of funding. But yes, it would quite possibly be funded through government grant-in-aid.”