Earlier today, Kate Middleton and her husband William attended a private viewing of the first official royal portrait of the Duchess commisioned by the National Portrait Gallery, prior the public unveiling. Painted by artist Paul Emsley, the picture's already made rounds on the Internet this morning, and no one likes it — except reportedly, the Duchess of Cambridge herself, who publically called it "amazing." Tell us what you really think, Kate.
On Twitter, Susie Bubble quipped that it was "like a dodgy car boot sale 70s job lot painting," which sounds like it could be a really biting and sharp observation, except the reference is a bit over my head.
Also on Twitter, Liberty London Girl asks, "Is it just me or does the Duchess of Cambridge look like she has the devil peering out of her eyes in the new NPG official portrait?" Yeah, it's a pretty bad painting but no, I think the Satan thing is a stretch.
Art critic David Lee wrote up a scathing little review of the picture for the Daily Mail: "This is an intelligent, thoughtful and educated sitter with no less than a degree in art history. She deserves better." Yeah, poor Kate Middleton put in all this work to get a degree in art history, and then her first official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery was a big dumb flop. Oh what a cruel, cruel world we live in.
In the end, the painting does look like a joke — or at the very least, well below the standards set by Emsley's previous work, which includes a painting of Nelson Mandela. Still, I'm not sure what people were expecting. Official portraits are rarely the stuff of real beauty, and it's not like Kate Middleton can't afford to have one bad picture floating around, misrepresenting her glowy face and shiny hair. People just want something to be mad about, I think. Why? It's Friday.
The Duke and Duchess have posted the picture online here. You can also watch a behind-the-scenes video below.
Image of Kate Middleton with portrait artist Paul Emsley, via Getty