Kate Middleton’s first official royal portrait was released on January 11th, and it’s heinous. Despite the Duchess of Cambridge’s ravishing good looks and seeming inability to take a bad photo, the portrait, painted by award winning artist Paul Emsley, seems to have captured her at her worst. The portrait features Middleton slightly smiling, with her long chestnut mane cascading on either side of her face. Unfortunately, her face looks like that of a 50-year-old, complete with bags under the eyes and crows feet.
According to the Prince of Wales website, the Duchess took part in the selection process and was involved in the portrait from day one (obviously). She was at the initial meeting to discuss what she wanted the feel of the portrait to be, and she sat for two sitting after that. During those sittings, multiple photographs were taken, which Emsley used during the process of painting the portrait. He said he was originally going to paint the Duchess not smiling, but after meeting with her and hearing that she wanted to appear as her natural self in the portrait, he decided to paint her with a smile on her face.
Daily Mail art critic Robin Simon called the portrait rotten and commented that luckily she doesn't look like this in real life. If Middleton looks like this when she’s 50, she should be happy. But she’s only 31, and she really doesn’t look this worn down and as one Sunday Times critic put it, “dour” in real life. Middleton said that she thinks the portrait is “absolutely brilliant,” which was very sweet. Prince William respectfully said she looks “beautiful” in it. How royal of our favorite duo to accept the artistic interpretation with grace, after all, the artist put in a lot of work, and to discredit it would be common.