Kate Middleton’s portrait, unveiled Friday morning at London’s National Portrait Gallery, shows the Duchess of Cambridge looking older, wiser, and more devious. Her famous smile and her sparkling eyes are missing entirely, reports Daily Mail on Friday, Jan. 11. While the artist captured her gleaming hair and her favorite pair of gift-from-the-Prince earrings, the open and friendly Kate Middleton everyone loves has given way to a scheming face.
Kate Middleton and Prince William, plus members of her family, attended the first viewing which was a private one, but critics have already seen the portrait and rendered opinions. “Rotten,” is a frequent description, as are comments that it looks “nothing like Kate in real life.”
But Kate Middleton and Prince William have said they like it. E! Online reports that the duchess told reporters she thought it was "brilliant."
Prince William agreed, calling the portrait “absolutely beautiful.”
The royal portrait was done by artist Paul Emsley, chosen by Kate Middleton from a suggested list. The portrait painter is known for capturing an almost photographic reality. That, he did, but he apparently captured Duchess Catherine on a bad day – and she never has public bad days.
It is ironic that painters of royal portraits, throughout history, have tried to make their subjects look better than they really looked. In this case, Emsley appears to have made a beautiful duchess look less lovely than her norm. Kate Middleton and Prince William will be remembered from thousands of public images, but this picture makes viewers think of the scheming Anne Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth the first.