At the same time, though, Middleton herself is backing the artist, Paul Emsley. When she met him at the National Portrait Gallery, where the picture will hang, she told him "It’s just amazing. Absolutely brilliant."
Prince William was similarly entranced, saying "It’s beautiful; it’s absolutely beautiful."
Ironically, Kate was on her first official outing in nearly a month, and had to -- according to the reports, put on a brave face in the wake of criticism of the portrait. Viewers said it appeared that Kate was grimacing in the portrait, though some thought it looked as though she was smirking.
Robin Simon, the editor of the British Art Journal, was not kind. He said "Ghastly ... rotten ... an out and out disaster," adding that it made Kate look "old before her time" when he spoke of the portrait. David Lee, now editor of The Jackdaw and a former editor of Art Review, said "Its only saving grace is that it’s not by Rolf Harris."
Meanwhile, artist Emsley said he wanted to capture Middleton's "charm, serenity and intelligence." He added that he wanted to emphasize her "sparkling green eyes," which may explain the lines and shadows seen under her eyes, which were criticized by some.
Interestingly, Kate is seen wearing glittering sapphire and diamond earrings that might appear familiar to some. Those earrings were once owned by Princess Diana, who received them as a wedding present from Prince Charles.
After Di's death it is known that they were returned to Prince Charles, who then gave them to his "darling daughter-in-law" when she and William married in 2011. Kate first wore them in public on her royal tour to Canada, after having them slightly redesigned.