Kate Middleton Horrified? New ‘Rotten’ Official Portrait Revealed

Fri, January 11, 2013 9:52am EDT by 24 Comments
Kate Moddleton Portrait
Getty

The first official painting of the Duchess of Cambridge was revealed to harsh reviews January 10, 2013. Critics say it looks nothing like Kate in real life–she looks older and has a sour expression! Do you think the Duchess deserves a better rendering? Sound off below!

Kate Middleton, 31, one of the most elegant and beautiful royals (and women) in the world, just got her portrait painted and revealed at London’s National Portrait Gallery to the shock of many. The painting was described as ‘rotten’ and looks ‘nothing like Kate in real life’. The portrait was painted by Paul Emsley, who’s known for his photographic style.

Kate Middleton’s portrait gets harsh criticism

Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak called the portrait ‘pretty ordinary… He made her look older than she is and her eyes don’t sparkle in the way that they do and there’s something rather dour about the face.’ Robin Simon, editor of the British Art Journal and Daily Mail art critic, said today: ‘Fortunately, the Duchess of Cambridge looks nothing like this in real life. ‘I’m really sad to say this is a rotten portrait.’

Januszczak told BBC News: “I was disappointed, to be honest. I have been waiting for it, like everybody else, with great expectation because the Duchess of Cambridge is someone who we know likes art and was presumably going to be an enlightened patron. But I think she’s been let down really by the picture. In the end, it’s yet another pretty ordinary painting of a royal of the sort that we’ve been really churning out for the last few hundred years in Britain.”

The portrait from top to bottom

The painting shows the Duchess in a green bow blouse wearing a pair of earrings that were a wedding gift. Kate looks about 20 years older thanks to creases under her eyes and has an expression that looks like a grimace. Emsley, who has also painted Nelson Mandela, wanted to capture her ‘charm, serenity and intelligence’ as well as her ‘sparkling green eyes’. But it seems like he missed a few strokes.

Emsley had said: ‘The Duchess explained to me that she would like to be portrayed naturally – her natural self as opposed to her official self. She struck me as enormously open and generous and a very warm person. ‘After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait, I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling – that is really who she is.’

Kate posed for the portrait before she got pregnant, over two sittings in May and June at the artist’s studio in Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire and at Kensington Palace. Kate, William and the entire Middleton family – Carole, Michael, James and Pippa – went for a private viewing of the portrait this morning before it was publicly unveiled.

The royal reaction

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were first to congratulate the artist on his work. ‘I thought it was brilliant,’ said Kate. ‘It’s just amazing. Absolutely brilliant.’ She studied the  portraitfor 10 minutes before indicating that she was pleased with the way he had captured her around her mouth and nose. Prince William had a similar reaction ‘It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful,’ he said.
HollywoodLifers, do YOU think Kate & Wills were just being polite about liking the portrait? We think a redux is in order! Sound off below!

– Jennifer Tzeses

More on Kate Middleton:

  1. Kate Middleton Pregnant: First Signs Of Her Baby Bump — Pics
  2. Kate Middleton’s Fairytale Princess Gown: Bump Hiding?
  3. Is Kate Middleton Hiding A Bump Under Her New Loose Dresses?

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E Burke

Posted at 1:12 AM on March 4, 2014  

Fact is, Kate Middleton is a lovely person, but she should thank god she isn’t stunning. As they say, Pretty is as pretty does. Her royal portraitist got her down to a t: she’s a deeply divided person….business/love…. but so far she seems to be consistent. Looks can’t tell; often behavior can’t either. She resembles her husband’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, facially, in some respects, if she’d only lay off of the make-up, and get her hair out of her face. Hair down belongs in the bedroom, not on the street…

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TheTruthHurts

Posted at 5:01 AM on March 18, 2013  

Picture perfect for an aging whore. she was his mistress for years. I am sure he has a new one now. She is as ugly as sin

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Vi

Posted at 7:32 AM on July 21, 2013  

Kate is a beauty and haters are just jealous of her fortune in life.

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Theodora

Posted at 5:22 PM on March 1, 2013  

i think she looks as ugly in the portrait as she is in real life

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Greensboro auto body repair

Posted at 6:48 PM on February 12, 2013  

A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought to write more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss these issues. To the next! Cheers!!

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Mari

Posted at 8:16 PM on January 23, 2013  

I think she looks beautiful in the portrait. She doesn’t look that old in it either. I’m glad they were pleased, they should have been. Why paint her to look unnatural? Everyone wants everyone to look like they are perpetually 18, give me a break.

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marliio (@marliio)

Posted at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2013  

You cant have two different expressions; one as official and one as natural. The only thing which may change is your hair style and your style of dress. I just don’t think the artist got it!

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Formerly Kristen's Evil Twin Gone Brit For a Day.

Posted at 6:33 PM on January 15, 2013  

Ok, snarky comment: I had NO idea Kate had an older sis. Is this her, in the portrait ?
Ok, real comment : Hell no,I do not like it. I,too, have been waiting to see it, simply because i wanted to see if the (makes choking noises) artiste had gotten it right. Apparently not.
I agree, I think :
A) They were being polite.
B) That does bear a rather disappointing resemblance to her.
C) It DOES make her look older.
D) It does not capture what we love most about Kate: her charm, inner beauty and sweetness and serenity.
E) I think a redux IS in order. Pronto.
F) He should be ashamed of himself !

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rita

Posted at 2:47 AM on January 14, 2013  

He changed her hair color and made her almost blond, changed the color of her eyes which took out the sparkle and made them look bloodshot, she looks old and dead and the painting sucks. Terrible in my opinion. I think his color choices ruined the painting. He sucked the life out ofna vibrant young girl.

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Formerly Kristen's Evil Twin Gone Brit For a Day.

Posted at 6:33 PM on January 15, 2013  

@ rita: I couldn’t have said it better meself !

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disturber

Posted at 1:54 PM on January 13, 2013  

I think the portrait looks exactly like her. To call her one of the most beautiful women in the world, now that’s just false. She can look quite pretty, but she wouldn’t stand out in a crowd if she weren’t part of the outdated British upper crust. Down with the monarchy!!

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Tiger

Posted at 10:49 PM on January 12, 2013  

Kate Middleton ‘s real looking , which we can find from youtube , she is not a beautiful women at all. But she has the long leg , and plenty of clothes . So , any women with hair team and top fashion brand supplier can look prettier than Kate Middleton .
So , painter acutally caught Kate’s best moment already , and much better than her looking in real . Kate Middleton has a same face figure as her father michael Middleton , so a normal looking women , but being taken care well.

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Tiger

Posted at 10:44 PM on January 12, 2013  

The painting of Kate Middleton express the real Kate Middleton , l think the painting is good . And Kate Middleton is nothing more than the painting .In real life , she is a empty person , who spends time in GYM , with her HAIR team , and fashion suppliers . So , what we expect she should be .
A nice face without inner deepth. And a puppy who married rich man .

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marion

Posted at 2:01 PM on January 12, 2013  

If the newspapers had not photoshoped her so much, people would realise that this portrait is actually much better than what she looks like in real life. It has captures very well her soul: eyes and the smile.

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alan

Posted at 12:56 PM on January 12, 2013  

to be honest I dont know her real look, cos Ive never seen her with my own eyes.

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SuzyQ

Posted at 12:59 AM on January 12, 2013  

I’ve never thought she was attractive. Ever! She’s built like a 11 yr old little boy. NO hips or bust! And yes she looks old for her age..

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TRACY123

Posted at 7:53 PM on January 11, 2013  

She looks like Whistler’s Mother, yikes, she is much prettier than this painting shows. Kate take it down and get a new one made.

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S.V.K.

Posted at 1:41 PM on January 11, 2013  

kate it doesn’t look that great.

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morekare

Posted at 11:43 AM on January 11, 2013  

It’s not a painting, it’s a photo.

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Natalia

Posted at 11:11 AM on January 11, 2013  

I think it looks a lot like her, more like a photo thats been edited than a painting! they perfectly got her hair and that odd sort of tight, lop-sided smile thing she does. yeah, the lines under her eyes do age her, but in some candids i’ve seen she’s got those too!

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bekah

Posted at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2013  

i think the duchess is beautiful. i and who cares if people think she is not, because at the end of the day she has a family who loves her,and that is all that matters.

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Carol

Posted at 1:13 AM on February 8, 2013  

I agree she is simply beautiful. She is a simple person and her beauty is radiant.

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Lee smitt

Posted at 10:27 AM on January 11, 2013  

Why do you want it to look like Diana Spencers since the woman from the Today Show always
Compares the 2! wonder if she still is pregnant! But does not want to tell anyone!

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Scott

Posted at 1:11 AM on January 22, 2013  

A photograph at Leading Lady Photography studio in Colorado would have captured her simple, non head covered, running her fingers through her hair with more elegance. Shirley does awesome work with photos to capture baby bumps as well. The work is not elegant but it is
recognizable as the Duchess. The chin is to low a different tilt of her head and as should have been done for her wedding a professional doing the make up and the hair would have been a better option. She is washed out, the shadow created by the hair and the heavy eye brows are her, just not right for the person she is and the family she is part of. She can not do it all on her own she needs a mentor to help her. I wish them all the joy and happiness as the go forward in life as husband and wife… father and mother and representatives of the United Kingdom.

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