Duchess Kate goes to the unveiling of her first official portrait: awful or not that bad?

Duchess Kate came out of hiding! Kate and William went to the National Portrait Gallery in London today for the official unveiling of Kate’s new (and first, I think) portrait. Before we talk about her fashion, let’s just get the portrait stuff done, okay? Because the portrait is TERRIBLE. It’s not her fault – the artist, Paul Emsley, kind of went out of his way to make Kate look old, sad, exhausted, constipated and smug. At various times she’ll look tired or something, but she rarely looks this bad in public! I don’t know why the portrait didn’t involve Kate’s toothy smile, or why THE SAUSAGE CURLS MUST BE MAINTAINED AT ALL TIME, as if the sausage curls now officially belong to the British zeitgeist. I also think this is how Kate looked before she had her subtle eye work done before the engagement announcement. Here’s the portrait… prepare yourselves:

It’s just terrible, right? All of the art critics think it’s awful too, with the Mail’s art critic even going so far as to call it “rotten”. Kate said she loved it, though. At the unveiling, she said, “I thought it was brilliant — it’s just amazing — absolutely brilliant.” William said it is “absolutely beautiful” too. And Kate thanked the artist for doing it.

As for how Kate looked at the unveiling… she looks okay. She doesn’t look like she’s put on any weight at all, and I can barely see anything of a bump variety. Sources claim that she’s already in her second trimester too, which worries me a little bit, but some women are just slow to gain pregnancy weight I guess. Her dress is from Whistles, and it’s cute. She really loves that ‘80s styling, doesn’t she? Because this dress would have looked completely appropriate on my dad’s secretary in 1983, sheer sleeves and all. By the way, as it turns out, Kate did NOT spend her 31st birthday quietly at home in Wales. She and William and the Middleton family went to see a Cirque Du Soleil show in London. Hunh.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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346 Responses to “Duchess Kate goes to the unveiling of her first official portrait: awful or not that bad?”

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  1. Cecada says:

    She looks like she’s about to barf in the portrait, so maybe it’s an “art imitating life” thing.

  2. cc says:

    she does not look pregnant at all
    how far along is she?

  3. aims says:

    Is she pregnate? I see no diffrance. The portrait is terrible.

  4. Eve says:


    And I can’t stop laughing at some guy (on Twitter — via Dlisted) who said the portrait should be sent to that woman who disatrously restored a 120-year-old Spanish painting.


  5. vic says:

    Accurate without her smile and eyeliner. She’s a cutie but not a beautiful woman in the classic sense which I think you would have to be to make this type of portrait attractive.

  6. Mayday says:


    Good god

  7. lower-case deb says:

    did her eyeliner combust upon seeing the portrait? looked like she put them on in the dark. it’s too thick!

    otherwise, great dress, great hair!

    speaking of the portrait: from a certain angle (in relation to my computer anyway), it looks like a hybrid of Kate (upper half of the potrait) and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (the smile anyway).

  8. Sumodo1 says:

    Oh, that is one BRUTAL portrait. It should be a criminal offense. Now,, an observation: does Kate ALWAYS go without nail polish, or is this a pregnancy “fwoh up” problem?

  9. Lori M. says:

    I certainly hope she is not pregnant with twins. She’s still so skinny – It’s scary! I hope the portrait looks better in person. I’d be disappointed to see myself look tired and old in an official portrait!

  10. teehee says:

    I like that dress. But that portrait is just so dark, nearly evil looking.

  11. GoodCapon says:

    That’s exactly what she looks like without the manic grin to soften her masculine features. Bad skin and lots of lines on her face for a 31 year old, she obvs doesn’t age well. She does look lovely in that red dress though- it reminds me of the engagement photos.

    What annoys me about this is that since last month, she managed to go to a sports awards show, back to back lunches, church with her family and for her birthday a trip to the theatre, yet she has NEVER revisited any of her charities until today (and they were only there for 10 whole minutes). Selective HG is in full force, ladies and gentlemen.

    • emma says:

      There aren’t that many lines on her face! There’s just some under her eyes, so what? It’s a natural look, if her face was all smooth everyone would decrying real-life photoshopping, smoothing out her face unnaturally.

      It’s the spooky head-on angle coming out of the darkness. She looks fine in the portrait.

    • Jessica says:

      I totally agree with you when you say she only manages to go to the glamorous events and never actually visit her charities; where I disagree with you is that you said she went to one of her charities today. While the NPG is one of her patronages, yes, she was only there for totally selfish reasons–if it wasn’t HER first official portrait unvailing she would not have been there. If it had been some other function put on by the NPG, she probably would have skipped it.

  12. Angelic 20 says:

    How can she claim to be too sick to work now? What are her fans excuse s now? She looks good to me, no sign of hg but of course if she have to do boring, non glamorous engagement she will get the world’s most acute morning sickness .

  13. The Original Mia says:

    I hope they didn’t pay too much for that painting. That is awful.

    She’s going to carry small it seems. I expected her to have something to show, considering she had chubby cheeks last month.

    Oh, and those birthday pics don’t show me a young, in love couple with a baby on the way. William showed more emotion with the guy next to him, than his wife.

  14. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Wow she is much cuter in just about any photo or video taken in the last 2 years…That is just sad, how her face basically is drooping in the portrait. Looks exhausted, old and miserable, which is obviously not how she really looks. What a shame. And where is her beautiful smile?? That smirk face! WTF??!

    And of course she is going to praise the artist for his work – it supposedly took the man 2 separate sittings and 3.5 months to complete – what else is she going to say right in front of him and reporters? Tragic.

    They should have just rehired the same photographer that did their engagement pics and had a portrait created from that. Ugh

    • LAK says:

      That’s because only flattering pics and video have been released in the past 2 years plus Kate is careful to have her game face on so no unflattering pics of her can be taken.

      It’s very rare that you have seen candids of her in the past 2 yrs. And on those occasions, she’s wearing a tonne of make up.

      BTW:- those engagement pics are phtoshopped to hell. They look nothing like her. She is stunning in those pics which i am afraid is more photoshop than her. It’s the mark of Mario Testino’s work. He only takes flattering pictures and then photoshops them further to produce a stunning version of his subjects.

  15. Agnes says:

    she looks like she’s 46 in the portrait.

  16. s says:

    she was being gracious, and it was very classy of her. The portrait is totally awful, though that goes without saying. I think she looks nice, a little softer, though I really think the bangsy things are doing her a disservice.

    I have a friend that only gained 23 lbs. during pregnancy, she had a healthy 7 lb. baby. She watched her weight even when pregnant, and worked out, and I suspect Kate is doing this too- maybe even not making an effort b/c she is barfy. That said I am her height and probably weigh more now than she will at full-term.

    • MollyB says:

      I had very bad morning sickness with my first daughter and lost 10 pounds through out the pregnancy. My second I only gained 9 lbs, 8.5 of which was my daughter. Now, granted, I wasn’t as tiny as Kate to begin with, so my doctor was fine with it. One of my friends is willowy like Kate and never looked more than 6 months pregnant, even when she was ready to pop. Her babies were all healthy 8 pounders. It’s silly to look at a pregnant woman’s weight or ‘bump’ and speculate about her health.

  17. Redheadwriter says:

    That portrait is awful. If were me, I would have had to choke the kind words out.

    As for the pregnancy, her boobs are definitely fuller. She’s on the taller side, too, so she may be carrying a little more subtly.

  18. andrea says:

    That portrait is of Queen Kate 20 years, a few kids, and a couple of royal scandals from now.

  19. Lori M. says:

    Kate is giving the middle finger in that 7th picture. Is she talking to the artist??

  20. brin says:

    It’s terrible. Think the artist will be banished to the tower…never to be seen again!

  21. BooBooLaRue says:

    LMAO, how did ya’ll miss it looks as if she is throwing the bird to the artist in the 7th photo? Hee…horrible likeness.

  22. Tazina says:

    Squinting her eyes, pursing her mouth, faded out looking skin, nose looks off kilter. She looks like she was on a bender the night before. It needs to be redone.

  23. Red Snapper says:

    I think the artist must hate her. Why else would he immortalize her eye bags and her smug, superior smirk? Seriously, doesn’t she look like the most entitled, “I got mine” bitch in the world?

    And what a surprise! William is taking another break from his RAF duties to go to the Circus and a portrait unveiling. I hope everything goes ok on Mustique!!(/sarcasm)

  24. Melissa says:

    Is she supposed to look like a 1980′s ghost in the portrait?!? Also, she doesn’t look pregnant at all, what’s up with that??? Her boobs aren’t even bigger…Beyonce!? scandal!

    • Lady D says:

      I’m skin and bones, literally. I’ve been 20 pounds underweight my whole life. My boy was 7.9 lbs at birth. He’s 24 now and stands 6’6″ and 215 lbs. I didn’t show until my 6th month and then it was my ass that gained the weight. The last 2 months I felt huge.

  25. Christina says:

    The portrait is horrible. Kate herself looks nice – make-up and sausage curls toned down a bit, and I quite like the dress. If you look really close you can see what appears to be a bump just above where she’s clutching her bag, but if I didn’t know she was pregnant, there’s no way in hell I’d have guessed. I look more ‘pregnant’ than that after a heavy lunch.

  26. Kcarp says:

    she has been barfy for 12 weeks she may not have gained anything! Everyone gives her the business about not working. Who wouldn’t want to sit on the rear all day and be a freaking princess!! Please! Don’t say well the taxpayers pay for her lifestyle. My tax dollars pay the people in Congress you can’t tell me they work hard. Leave her alone she is a freaking princess…Princessing Ain’t Easy….

  27. lylaooo says:


  28. Post-Its says:

    Why would you include the puffiness under her eyes?

  29. La Calabaza says:


    • Kcarp says:

      No way is it a surrogate. Now I dont put much past the Royals, you know just your run of the mill Murder and Such but no way is there going to be a surrogate. That little embryo is firmly tucked in there.

    • Malificent says:

      Even skinny women don’t typically show until @14 weeks or so. Especially for a first pregnancy when the abdominal muscles are typically stronger.

      This whole “bump watch” thing for celebrities in the first trimester is ridiculous. If women look like they weigh more in the first trimester, it’s usually from hormone-induced bloating, which happens to some women and others not at all.

      And for a woman who is throwing up a lot, and has probably lost a lot of weight, there is no reason to think she’d be bloated or obviously showing at 14 weeks….

  30. hoya_chick says:

    That is a horrible portrait! It’s kinda creepy looking, like something you’d see in an old house, at the turn of the century. Very weird and not flattering. Like she is floating in a shadowy sea of black, gray fog. I don’t get it. She looks so old but at least he got her sausage curls right. Ha. Didn’t she get photo approval? Lol. And of course she said she liked it. What else was she suppose to say?

    How tall is she? She has a long torso, was bone thin when she got pregnant and don’t they always say it takes longer for you to show considering all of that plus if you are pregnant for the first time so maybe that’s why she isn’t showing.

    Anyone who thinks she is going to blow up with this pregnancy, is in for a surprise. I foresee her having a very Posh Beckham type pregnancy, she’ll be thin up until she delivers and only visibly pregnant from the front or side. She seems too vain to gain a bunch of weight.

    Oh and anyone on here had HG? does it magically clear up after a few weeks or is it on going?

    Lol at them not spending a ‘quiet’ time in Wales for her birthday. Of course not! Anytime they release a statement saying they are low key and quaint, I wait a few days and then the *real* story comes out.

    • Michelle says:

      I had it and it doesn’t magically clear up, but drugs are a wonderful thing. I took several pills a day and was able to function like a human being because of it. Still threw up,once or twice a day, but way better that the constant sicnkmess if I didn’t take the pills. I had to take them my wholepregnancy and I would guess Kate is takig something, probably a high dose, and will hsve to until the baby is born.

    • GoodCapon says:

      As a follow-up question to those who had HG: how soon did the doctor/s diagnose you with the condition? Kate went from playing hockey on Friday to spending the weekend at her parents’ house to going to the hospital sometime on Monday. That’s just 2-3 days of going through the symptoms and from what I read HG is not a sudden attack but develops over time.

      • Belle says:

        That is the very reason that I have mentioned several times that I don’t think she had/has HG. I think the diagnoses came waaaaay too quickly. In my first pregnancy, I was not diagnosed with HG until I was in my second trimester. By that time I had been on medication for almost a month, and had been back and forth to the hospital several times for IV fluids. So, I was very sick, right at 6 weeks… sick enough to require fluids and be given medication, but it was another month before being diagnosed with HG. Second pregnancy diagnoses came much sooner…. but I also was sick that time almost immediately (before I had missed a period), and having had HG in the first pregnancy, I think, had a lot to do with being diagnosed earlier the second time.

        Having said all of that (again, sorry for those who might have read before!), I DO think Kate was (and might still be) sick… sick enough to need IV fluids and probably medication, which could be just as debilitating. Fluids and meds would probably help her quite a bit with a case of nasty morning sickness. HG can be somewhat managed as well… but it doesn’t come and go… and usually persists through the 5th or 6th month, and often for the entire pregnancy.

        If I were to guess, I think Kate is probably starting to feel better, having gotten through the first trimester… maybe still some icky days, but better. If so, that seems like regular morning sickness…. nasty for a bit, requiring fluids… but I don’t think HG.

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      Give it up on the HG kick. It’s been debunked. If she had it it was for a weekend and you know that’s bs to gain public sympathy. In fact, it is hard to believe that anything with these 2 are true, but that’s for another time.

      • emmie_a says:

        Couldn’t agree more Alexandra Bananarama. Also, hasn’t it been said that there is no way they could have diagnosed HG within hours of her checking into the hospital, as they did? She might have morning sickness but that’s about it. As for her not gaining weight, she has some type of eating disorder and/or will probably be dieting through her pregnancy so she’s not going to gain a lot of weight.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        emmie. Yes. No way she could get a diagnosis that fast. HG is a chronic condition, not acute as Kate had. It has to be monitored over time. Not a few hours.

        I know that she personally isn’t claiming to have it. it’s a PR team and she goes along with it, but to go along with an illness so terrible women opt to have an abortion rather than live through that kind of hell is really terrible.

      • Meerkat says:

        Totally agree! Thank god you too can see through the pr rubbish. Nobody with HG looks as pink-cheeked and perky as she did when she came out of hospital. They don’t care what they look like – they feel like death warmed over!

  31. Anne says:

    It’s very common not to show until 20 weeks or so, especially in a first pregnancy. Furthermore, HG can cause significant weight loss. I was 25 weeks or so before my weight started to go up at all.

  32. lower-case deb says:

    the second picture after the portrait,
    she’s clutching her purse so tight so she doesn’t end up punching through the portrait? she’s doing a lot of teeth gritting too, just in case she throws up on the potrait?

    although that’s not a bad idea to get rid of the potrait though, i mean, if it’s got to go, it got to go, really.

    anyway, good for her for being kind to the artist. it’s really not bad, at least you can still say it’s Kate, somewhat. not some random woman.

  33. Dirtnap says:

    If an artist painted dark circles under my eyes for the world to see, I would give him two black eyes of my own. What artist doesn’t understand that most famous women want to look like better versions of themselves?

  34. tabasco says:

    OK, so fine, I’m a b*tch, but I don’t see this girl’s attractiveness at all. I think she is inoffensively plain, at best and a bit homely at worst.

  35. Merritt says:

    Not a great portrait. Which is a shame since he could have done a much better job.

    I like her dress here though.

    Some women just don’t show much until late in the pregnancy.

  36. Toot says:

    Kate’s breasts do look fuller and I see a tiny bump in the last two picture.

    I like her dress.

  37. ladybert62 says:

    What a horrible portrait – I am sure in public she has to say it is amazing – then she went home and cried.

    • bluhare says:

      Question for someone who knows stuff like this. What if Kate didn’t like the portrait? Could she pay the guy and then stick it in the attic or was she obligated to accept and display it?

      • Belle says:

        I’m curious about this too… anyone? I’m thinking it is meant to be on display?

      • LAK says:

        It’s simple good manners. Similar to receiving a bad gift. You thank the giver, may even throw in a little white lie about liking it, then quietly get rid of it after the event.

        Unfortunately for Kate, this portrait has to be put up for display for some time at NPG. If i were her, i would purchase it and destroy it. That’s what Clemmie Churchill did with the ugly portrait of Winston gifted to him on his retirement by house of commons. Apparently he hated it too, so as soon it was taken down from official viewing, they destroyed it.

        Unfortunately copies live on in reproductions and prints!!!!

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        LAK I do love a good Churchill reference. His widow was a sharp woman. Had to be to put up with him. As brilliant as he was I still would have to agree with Lady Astor and poisoned him.

        Kate won’t destroy it. I have a feeling she’ll hold on to anything she gets as a perk of the family she married into.

      • LAK says:

        @Alexandra Bananarama – Given how high maintenance he was, better to have him as a friend than as a romantic partner. In that arena i think i would have to join the poisoning club!!!

      • Hmmm says:

        @Alexandra Bananarama,

        I agree. Regardless of how crappy she may think the painting is (and I am not sure as others are that she thinks so, especially given her questionable aesthetic sensibility), I think the pix above show how chuffed she is to be so important. Because it’s ALL about her, good or bad. I mean, how many get to be added to the NPG, and have paintings of them added to the historical archives of great and interesting personages for eternity? It’s another mark of her status, IMO and further consolidates it.

        Funnily enough, unlike Churchill, she did nothing to deserve it. But who remembers that now?

        I think she’s thrilled overall. How special.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        @LAK: I was just thinking about the Churchill portrait. Given, it’s the most obvious comparison, but whenever I get to a post later on, I think ‘I’m sure LAK’s already brought it up’ and pop! Makes me chuckle, a bit.

        One can’t really ‘pull a Holbein’ these day, can they? And I’m sure everyone who is asked says it but there is a reason for it: Van Dyck’s. There were so many greats, obviously, the aforementioned Holbein, Velasquez, Goya, et al., but Van Dyck’s court portraits were so…there isn’t the word–that one can only assume that Civil War that broke out a few weeks after his death may not have been politically ordained. If you were of a class that had sumptuous garments to rent in twain over the loss, there would scarcely have been any point, as no one else could paint lace as well as he could. There was a paintbrush that had no business stroking its last at the age of 42.

        I guess that shows how invested I am in current affairs if all I can about is the fancier laces of the mid-17th century.

  38. MiMi says:

    Clearly, the artist hates her. The portrait has a creepy, almost horror movie-esqueness about it. Perhaps it’ll be hung in the Tower.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Or the House Of Horrors. They can put it in a gibbet!

    • SISI says:

      He messed it up big time, and makes me wonder if he is a 3nd-grade painter that got lucky in the past. He’s painted Kate as a historical figure rather than what she is now, as he should.
      This is the type of (old-fashioned) portrait a painter would create to commemorate a recently deceased person, to be hung in a Mausoleum – wholly innapropriate and devoid of any meaning/context. One must question his interior motives, he’s used all his artistry and skills as a painter to make Kate look Lifeless, almost evil …. That took some (un)doing given Kate’s sunny harmless disposition, easy smile and natural beauty.
      I would never buy a painting from him. What a waste!!

  39. OhDear says:

    Dunno, I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what she looks like (maybe could have left out the undereye bags, though) – she’s certainly not unattractive, but smoking and tanning for most of one’s life is going to have an affect on how one looks, right? Also, I think the Barbara Walters soft-lens effect in that portrait is kinda funny.

  40. Princess Hot Ginge says:

    I would seriously put my foot up someone’s arse if a painting was done of me and my dark circles and bags were included. Seriously, WTF?

  41. happycats says:

    What a disappointment. Just awful but for her hair. The eyes are flat, the bend in her nose, the bags under her eyes – just awful. One thing about Kate – she always has a twinkle in her eye and that’s part of her essence and should have been captured by such a renowned artist. An epic fail and to think that will hang for centuries for all to see. I hope there’s a better one very soon. I wouldn’t pay to see this one in person

  42. Audrey says:

    OMG, those bags under her eyes in the portrait make her look years older than she really is!

  43. Miss You Enclave24 says:

    Kate hand picked the painter, so she has no one to blame. Personally, he did what any great artist would do; he captured her true essence folks. The work is a masterpiece.

  44. Eleonor says:

    That’s Duchess Kate 10 years older sister!

  45. melmel says:

    Does Prince William ever work?

  46. Suze says:

    Well….I don’t know.

    I actually think the portrait is fairly accurate, if not flattering. Portraits aren’t usually smiley, grinny things showing your teeth flashing and hair glowing. So she does look older – ok, much older – but I don’t think it’s such a horrible likeness.

    Take a look at Lucien Freud’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth one day – it’s fascinating but not conventionally flattering AT ALL.

    I have a feeling she’s slighlty less pregnant than reported, maybe by a couple of weeks, and that’s why the lack of a bump is noticeable. If they hadn’t had to announce the pregnancy, they would have been able to conceal it for months!

  47. Elly says:

    i have to say the portrait is not beautiful, it´s too grey!

    But come on… it´s exactly how Kate really looks! Without the grin her face looks old!

  48. fleur says:

    I don’t see the drama.This is how she looks like.She had send him a picture looking exactly like this.He got it right bags and all.

  49. Lisa says:

    This is the most horrid painting I have ever seen – just horrid. I bet she cried in private after viewing it.

  50. Hope says:

    Subtly invoking the image of Diana, one dress at a time…

  51. Elise says:

    At first glance, that portrait is not very flattering. And Carole and Pippa didn’t look thrilled with it either . If this is supposed to be an “accurate, natural” portrayal of her, then maybe it is? On the other hand, do love her Whistles dress, though.

  52. Ms Kay says:

    … scary creepy somehow, imagine you bump into that whilst you’re half asleep zombie walking to them toilets, you definitely won’t get to the destination on time and wet the corridor!

    That portrait would make Phoebe Buffay’s Gladys and Glynnis paintings combined with Dorian Gray run up the hills!

  53. Meerkat says:

    I can’t stop laughing! And she had to say she likes it! Delicious!

    Very selective HG, by the way.

  54. RobN says:

    Way too flat and grey. It’s not even that it’s that unflattering, it’s just kind of oddly flat.

  55. Pharce says:

    It looks like an age progression of a missing child.

  56. Summer says:

    I know alot of artists who draw far better portraits.

  57. Chatcat says:

    Well the good news Kate is that it is 2013 and you are very photogenic, so although your painted portrait is a POS that appears to be painted by a 10th grader in art class, your photographs trump away that and your photo’s will be your legacy just like your MIL in her photos.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      …glad I’m not the only one that finds her beautiful…

      • emmie_a says:

        Chatcat: Kate chose the painter so obviously she didn’t think he was “clearly one of most untalented portrait artists on the planet”

      • Angelic 20 says:

        Chat cat,
        Caking people names who don’t like a person that you do or don’t share your point of view is childish and very immature. I am providing you a link to a royal blog that has been following them got years, you might now like the comments on this blog but I am providing you proof that every photo of her is Photoshop Ed to death and she does needs a lot of Photoshop to look good. Go to the link and see the photos of her without all the torches and you will see this portrait is not her worst look and that the artist has been very kind to her, just go to the link and go through all the photos and let me know what you think.


      • LAK says:

        Hate to break it to you @chatcat but Kate is absolutely photoshopped all the time, even when it looks candid plus media have been told to write only positive flattering pieces about her which extends to only publishing the most flattering pics of her.

        The people who have met her have all commented on the mask-like lacquered make up she has on rather than her looks. She has a masculine quality to her looks which she can’t help, but William likes plaine masculine girls as evidenced by his previous GFs and randoms bar Natasha Rufus Isaacs.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @Angelic-Sorry but where did Chat call anyone names?

        I looked at the link you provided and sorry, I still think Kate is really pretty. The fact that people are out there insisting that she’s “ugly” or “old-looking” well, really it says more about the insecurity of some people than it does about Kate. Chat and I are likely in the same boat here, saying we are not stans and have no dog in this fight-we don’t live in England nor do we follow the royals so our opinion(s) are based on what we see.
        Once again we are reminded that at the end of the day, it’s all about personal opinion and beauty is indeed subjective.

      • Angelic 20 says:

        The original,
        calling someone a hater for not liking Kate is calling names and no I don’t think she is ugly at all but she looks older then she is, have bad skin because she is a smoker and does need Photoshop. As I said I don’t body shame any woman or call them ugly,I don’t like criticising someone’s looks because that’s how God made them and I have never called her ugly. Also I have been called a hater or jealous for not liking her as a person on this site a million times but I have never called anyone shallow or dumb or any other name for liking her, so I don’t like when people call me hater or jealous or God knows what.

      • Suze says:

        Beauty is so wildly subjective that it’s almost pointless debating it.

        That said, the painter is no hack. And the portrait isn’t as hideous as people here are making it out to be – it reflects some inner parts of her character and is painted in the artist’s very distinctive manner.

        The painting wasn’t commissioned by “Kate-haters” who chose an untalented artist to make her look bad. It was commissioned by the royal family, completed by a painter chosen by the duchess herself, so it may not be a stretch to say that she is probably more satisfied with it than some of the commenters here.

        Personally, I find the portrait very interesting. And not an insult to the Duchess at all.

      • Suze says:

        AND…finally…it says a lot, to me, about the LACK OF VANITY that the duchess has to choose an artist she knew would render her naturally.

        Can you imagine a Kim Kardashian/Jennifer Lopez/type doing that?

      • Suze says:

        Chatcat, of course you are entitled to your opinion on the portrait. You are in majority here.

        It was the description of the artist as untalented that I strongly disagree with.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        @ Chat-the grey tint is because he uses a glazing technique.

        I completely agree that art is subjective in the sense that you can say “I don’t like this piece.” Hell, I’ve said that I hated paintings by Rembrant before. But would I say that Rembrant is a terrible painter? No, because that’s just a blatant lie. It’s one thing to say a painting doesn’t “speak” to you or that it just isn’t very nice but “nice” is subjective, whereas “good”, at least in a technical sense, is not.

        Not to get into semantics-based argument, but even to say “This is not a successful portrait to me” would be more accurate than saying “this painting is terrible”. To a trained eye, it is masterfully created. Maybe it didn’t achieve what others would have hoped but it looks almost identical to the picture she gave him to work with–and again, THAT is what Paul Emsley does and he does it fantastically well.

        But I suppose I’ve hammered my point home enough by now. lol Let’s all go to a museum! :D

      • Hmmm says:


        I don’t think it’s a lack of vanity. Heh. I think she lacks any aesthetic sensibility and is more thrilled just to be so important than anything.

      • deehunny says:

        @Angelic 20,

        Thanks for posting that link; I’ve never seen that website before.

        Although the pics on that site were unflattering, I don’t think she is constantly photoshopped. Instead, I think her ppl work with the press to publish the most flattering pics of her.

        With that being said, I do think she has had some subtle eyework done & they take great pains to not show the super emaciated pics to the public that were on that site. I think being that thin ages her. Although I don’t think she is pretty, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  58. Angelic 20 says:

    The portrait is bad but it’s not the artist fault, this is exactly how she looked in the picture that was given to him to paint. She choose this artist herself, he is know for his real, serious, black and white portraits of Nelson Mandela and I have seen the photo for which Kate sat for and approved to be as the photo given to the artist. She looked exactly like this in the photo he was given to paint which was approved by her.

  59. bluhare says:

    I guess I’m a minority of one here, but I don’t think it’s awful. He got her nose wrong, though.

    • Angelic 20 says:

      Blue hare,
      Now that I have seen it again,I am with you. The portrait is actually quite good, it gives her some personality unlike her usual bland self. Also this is not her worst photo, the close up photos of her on other royal blogs without any Photoshop are way worst then this one, in real life she have pock marks all over her face and facial hairs. This is actually one of her better photos.

      • andy says:

        “Also this is not her worst photo, the close up photos of her on other royal blogs without any Photoshop are way worst then this one, in real life she have pock marks all over her face and facial hairs. ”

        Facial hair? Are you serious?

        Making fun of Kate for something all women have. I have facial hair and acne scarring. No doubt you would have a field day making fun of my imperfections.

        The hatred towards this woman over every little thing is getting ridiculous.

      • bluhare says:

        Thank you, Angelic. It’s nice not to be all alone.

        If what people say is true, that she’s vapid and shallow, then he got it. There’s no life in her eyes. What a difference between this and the Jubilee portrait of the Queen in Westminster Abbey at the coronation site.

        andy: most women bleach or wax their facial hair, so for Perfect Kate to have a not so perfect face is unusual.

      • Angelic 20 says:

        I am not hating on Kate for having facial hairs, I don’t like body shaming other women and I rarely comment on her looks or figure but people are slamming a very talented artist for painting a very accurate and real portrait so I was just pointing out that he did make her look better then she does in real life without the Photoshop done by media s outlets. I was just pointing out that its not her worst look and gee didn’t include all her flaws in the painting.

      • andy says:


        What are you saying exactly?

        Let’s slam Kate’s appearance because people are slamming the artist.

        Is it Kate’s fault that people are criticizing the portrait? No.

        Has Kate said anything disrespectful about the artist? No.

        You can defend the artist without making nasty remarks about her appearance.

      • Angelic 20 says:

        Again I am not making nasty comments about her appearance,I never said she looks ugly or having facial hair is a bad thing or anything offensive, unless you consider not calling her picture prefect nasty. She have her flaws just like you and me, she doesn’t look picture prefect just like your and me and that’s not her worst look like some people are making out to be. All I am saying that he did make her look better, she has looked worst then this and that is a fact. I don’t expect her to look prefect all the time, I think she have her flaws looks wise like everybody else and I do think she look pretty in general . I don’t think pointing out that she have her flaws looks wise or that I have seen much worst pictures of her is me being nasty, even with all her flaws I think she is attractive physically.

    • LAK says:

      Bluhare – That was my impression too. Only her nose is off.

      • Hmmm says:

        I was forced to peruse her more than I wanted. He did give her a bit of a snout, but I am sure his choices are all well considered unless one wants to believe that this portrait is simply a reproduction. The fact is, I think the nose distracts from the cold, venal eyes, mitigates the shock; they would totally overwhelm everything else if they weren’t balanced by the weight of the nose.

        And her lips are tight.

        Interesting that he bathed his friend in light. And her in shadow. I wonder if there’s any portraits of Lucretia Borgia and/or if they are flattering. Hmmm.

  60. bk says:

    We know what she said was just to be polite, and now we have evidence! See exhibit 7. She’s clearly flipping off the artist. I used to pull this trick in 7th grade too.

  61. Alessio says:

    …Isn’t the point of her makeup artist and the person who chooses her clothing to make her look as good as possible?

    I’m sure they have something to do with her not “looking” pregnant.

    • Garvels says:

      I completely agree.Paintings can’t be photoshopped. The artist captured how her one eye is slightly smaller than the other eye. She is a smoker and she does have smoker’s skin. Which is why most people say she looks older than her years. He also captured her smugness which I have seen of her in some candid shots. Since he painted her as a pillow face,I wonder if her face was treated with fillers prior to the sitting?

  62. Reece says:

    That’s some Dorian Gray looking stuff there. (Thank you Michael K) The less she works the uglier that portrait is going to get. Mark my words!

    Pretty dress though. I’d guess we can’t see any sort of bump yet because that dress skirt is huge.

  63. abbizmal says:

    Having to always have good manners, Kate expresses with her fingers her true opinion of the painting (see picture 2 up from the bottom). :D teeheehee

  64. Loulou says:

    Smack some brown contact lenses and she looks like Celine Dion.

  65. kat says:

    some of the external shots at the DM show much more cleavage than usual. she’s going to need to learn how to dress bigger boobies :-)

  66. Lucky Charm says:

    The black band around the waist does a good job of camouflaging, but you can still see a small bump. Plus, she is tall so is less likely to show so soon anyway. Not everyone carries like Jessica Simpson, lol!

    As for the portrait – all I can say is…no, I can’t say it, lol! If someone had painted such an unflattering portrait of me, that would be hanging for the world to see, I would be furious. And sentence them to the Tower of London, lol!

  67. Devon says:

    The portrait is horrible and she honestly, she couldn’t have said anything in public except that she loved it. I bet she’s fuming in private.

    As for her not looking pregnant, I think her breasts look fuller and there is a bit of a bump in the last photo. It was reported that she was only about 6 or 7 weeks pregnant when they announced it back in early December. That would only put her at about 11 to 12 weeks now. For first pregnancies, you don’t show that early.

  68. elceibeno08 says:

    She does not look pregnant at all. Kim Kardashian must be so jealous because she already looks like a cow and Katherine looks still the same.

  69. Klewis says:

    I can’t help but wonder if this is not yet another ominous sign of things to come for the Duchess.

    First off, she had to approve the portrait before they unveiled it– obviously she liked it. It wasn’t as though she showed up to her official unveiling, and they pulled down a sheet and said SURPRISE!!

    So no more talk of how she deserves a better portrait since she was clearly involved from start to finish. It is a bit creepy…


    • The Original Mia says:

      Thanks for the link.

      The portrait is awful, but Kate wasn’t blindsided by it. No artist would create a portrait without getting the express approval of the subject during the process. This is how Kate looked during the initial sitting. Deal with it, Kate stans. No one is hating on your Duchess. People are just telling the truth about the portrait.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        EXACTLY. A portrait commissioned by a royal, no less. I’d bet dollars-to-donuts that she popped into his studio at least ONCE to see the progression of the painting and was ok with it. If she was an art major, maybe she just LIKES and appreciates his work and actually LIKES the portrait.

        Regardless, it says something about her vanity, or lack thereof, if she was ok with someone painting her true-to-life, flaws included.

        Also, one thing I realized from reading the comments above is that people really don’t know shit about art. This guy is AMAZING and uses a really complicated painting technique of layering glazes that is really time-consuming but in the right hands produces amazing results….smh…

        Go to a museum people, please.

      • Suze says:

        Original Kitten I have been following you around on the comments all day agreeing with this.

        Do you want to go to the National Portrait Gallery together? I would love to talk more about this…lol…

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Let’s go, Suze. Eff the rest of ‘em ;)

      • The Original Tiffany says:

        I’m with the two of you. I bore everyone in my family at the NPG and every other great museum of the world. I personally think after a few views that the painting is masterful and that of course she knew full well his style and knew what the painting looked like.

        One of the best things about living in all these cities…the museums!

        PS-we’ll need some herbal delights before we go.

      • JFW3 says:

        This is in response to Kittens comment above. Being a great artist is not just about being technically proficient. It’s about creating good art. Some of the best artwork in history is not very good from a technical perspective, just as some of the worst art is technically flawless. Unforuntately, this piece is not one of the artists better works. It’s an average piece both technically and artistically. Some of the artists other pieces are indeed very good, but he missed the mark on this one. The technique here is nothing special. More egregously however, is that in an ironic attempt to be creative, he’s used a hackneyed prop in relying on a mona lisaesque smile. It’s simply cliche and it doesn’t work here. He’s taken great pains to depict all of Kate’s flaws, which is fine, but rather than soften them with a bright smile or feminine expression, he’s chosen a clenched grimace. He puts all this on top of a black lifeless background. As a result, Kate comes off as almost sinister or evil, and definitely not as a young happy newlywed. Say what you want about Kate and her real life appearance, she’s hardly sinister or evil. This is bad art pure and simple. Most critics are saying the same thing, and for what its worth, I deal with and commission artists for a living, so I’m no novice in the field.

    • Hmmm says:


      Most critics lambasted the emerging Impressionists. So your point is?

  70. MST says:

    I’m not a fan of the royal family, but I have to admit Kate is very pretty, and this portrait is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL! It makes her look about ten years older.

    • She has snake eyes says:

      Eventually Kate is being exposed, from th nude photos to this artist portrait of her. She’s just a average looking woman, who lacks inner warmth. imo

      Kate’s only beauty is from PHOTOSHOPPING, Go look at her photos when she first met William. She’s no beauty, she’s average at best. Kate’s a plain girl photoshopped to death. She’s always been just a plain jane with a lot of hair.
      Look at her face in those nude photos where she’s caught candid no makeup, her face looks beat as hell.

      The Artist captured her exactly, he even managed to capture her cold eyes, which is what reflects what’s really going on inside, I suspect she’s cold and it makes her come off unlikeable to so many, even though her fans won’t admit it.

      She’s just a tad above Pippa in looks but not much. Those photos above are even photoshopped by the press.

    • GoodCapon says:

      But she does look older thanks to tanning and smoking.

      IMHO Kate is not attractive, stunning, drop dead beauty or other pompous adjectives the Daily Mail threw upon her after the wedding. She’s pretty enough, yes, but so are a thousand girls before her.

      She’s the prettier version of Pippa though (likewise Pippa is the uglier version of Kate)

  71. Melissa says:

    I’m neither a Kate fan nor a hater, but good God, that portrait is horrible and does her no justice. The bags under her eyes, the lines coming down from her nose, and the creepy glass-eyed look – she is much prettier in real life. This is absolutely criminal.

    As to her being pregnant – I know she might not have gained weight b/c of the HG, but usually even thin women start to lose their waist early on, even when there’s no bump. How is her waist still that small?

    • Alexandra Bananarama says:

      Simply because it’s not her waist. It’s her rib cage. In the last post about her it highlighted the vogue article calling her out. It claimed and you can plainly see in most pictures her dresses are tailored to give her a shorter torso and longer legs. Her torso is long and her legs in comparison are short so by raising her waist she looks better proportioned.

      The article was funny. if you have time to go back and read it.

      And she never had HG. Again, it was debunked. Simple common sense and a basic knowledge of the disorder can back me up.

      • Linda says:

        Debunked by who exactly and why are u so bitter.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Debunked by me and my cracker jack box medical degree. Without a look at her medical records, just by her behavior and what’s covered, by the news on top of how long she was in the hospital before the diagnosis came out.

        Factor it all in for yourself. This is acute morning sickness, not chronic HG. I could go into detail, but the facts and logic is there. It’s your choice to see it.

        As to the bitterness. Is that like the jealousy I must feel to go against this woman? There is only 1 major thing I hold against her for purposes of this conversation and is reason enough to dislike. Apathy. She fought hard for a position to change lives for the better, but couldn’t care any less about any her charities or helping others.

      • Summer says:

        @Alexandra B … Next time I’m not well I’ll email you my symptoms so you can give me one of those bang up “facts and logic” medical diagnoses you’re so good at.
        I have no doubt Kate has HG. My sister developed it suddenly at 7 weeks. She went from working one day to hospitalized that might. Then once she was on medication she was ok to resume her normal life, albeit throwing up *only* twice a day. I bet Kate’s the same.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Summer, ugh. It’s your prerogative to think as you do and it doesn’t impact my life as my opinion should not work you into a tizzy. That is all I have to say about that. And if you’re not feeling well go to a hospital. Just not mine.

  72. WendyNerd says:

    Of course he didn’t paint it when she was a pregnant. That’s because this artist is also a genius inventor who managed to build a time machine, used it to travel to the future, and decided to paint the Duchess when she was post-menopausal instead of how she is right now.

    That or he’s secretly Morrissey in disguise.

  73. Jetcitywoman says:

    Kinda looks like she is giving someone a sneaky ‘your number one’ in the 5th pix..

  74. Gine says:

    WOW, that’s bad. I’d be pissed. I’m ambivalent about Kate, but I do think she’s pretty, and that does her no favors at all. It doesn’t even look like a good painting in general–couldn’t they have gotten an artist that was actually talented?

  75. Decloo says:

    She clearly hates the portrait too as she is subtly giving the finger to the artist in one of the photos.

  76. Grifters says:

    OhDear says:

    January 11, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Dunno, I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what she looks like (maybe could have left out the undereye bags, though) – she’s certainly not unattractive, but smoking and tanning for most of one’s life is going to have an affect on how one looks, right? Also, I think the Barbara Walters soft-lens effect in that portrait is kinda funny.
    ——————————–END QUOTE:

    Totally AGREE. Kate’s been photoshopped to within an inch of Barbie by the press for years. Without all the photoshopping Kate has bad pockmark skin, bags under her eyes, lines, aging skin. Kate is “Plain”, imo she always has been plain, people confuse lots of hair for beauty, but it’s not. If you pull Kate’s hair back, that is how she looks exactly.

    She looks plain and her eyes look cold and hard, because that’s exactly how she is. I have friends who saw her in person, who said her skin is bad, her hair looked “fried” in person and she had greys popping through. Kate is plain and the Daily Mail is just mad that this artist didn’t photoshopp Kate.
    She’s a plain jane………’get over it’, Kate fans!
    HAHAHAHahaha Told ya she was a Plain jane!

  77. Goga says:

    Nice to see the eyeliner slowly fading away. Could it be she reads this blog? Lol

  78. Apsutter says:

    You can see her bra through the dress…you think her team would have handled that. It’s not like she get photographed with flash everywhere she goes, oh wait… Anyways that portrait it absolutely horrid. They made her look like a very well aged senior citizen and he mouth look so pinched and pruny. It’s not like Kate or Wills could come out and say that’s it awful though.

  79. Hmmm says:

    Awesome portrait!!! Really captured her driven, grasping, empty, icy black heart in her gaze and demeanor. WOWZA.

  80. emma says:

    The painter, Paul Emsley, did an excellent job. He is obviously a skilled painter. If you go to the link it looks EXACTLY like the picture Kate probably supplied herself. He even lessened the darkness under her eyes in the portrait.

    The problem is that it is head on. It’s a portrait of a candid picture. That’s probably what is so unsettling. If it was a more classical portrait with Kate maybe at an angle and tilting her head to the front, it wouldn’t be so bad.

    And you know, those aren’t such bad lines for a 31-year old. I’m 25 and have more lines than her and I moisturize. It just happens. No need to rag on her for looking like an actual human being and not an over-processed piece of plastic.

    • emma says:

      AND it’s a smirky smile, true, but it would be even weirder if it was a full-blown red carpet smile. That’s not an official portrait look. And she didn’t want to be totally bland, non-smiling. This is in the middle, it is probably how she smiles without her teeth. I think it’s fun, it’s a bit of life.

    • megs283 says:

      I agree with you. If I had an official portrait done, I’d want to look SLAMMING (my great-great-grandkids won’t know the real size of my waist, anyhow), but many people are rejoicing in her less-than-perfect skin or small wrinkles as if they’re personal failings. So she covers them up with makeup. Dear God. Someone should create a multi-billion empire based off that trick. (oh wait. they already did.)

      People get angry that she’s not as beautiful as others say – who cares. I think she’s beautiful with a nice twinkle in her eye. Clearly I’ve been tricked. And I’m not a Kate mega-fan – I get annoyed when people slam anyone’s attractiveness. A lot of ugliness is posted here.

      End rant.

  81. Grifters says:

    …and those photos of her in the red outfit, at the unveiling have ALL BEEN PHOTOSHOPPED BEFORE BEING RELEASED to the general press. The DAILY MAIL, PEOPLE MAG, HELLO! have all been photoshopping Kate for years. She’s plain , go look at some of the shots in some of the old royal forum chat sites,where some photogs didn’t photoshopp her, Kate was constantly partying in her 20′s, she looks plain and worn out even then.

  82. NeoCleo says:

    WHY would someone paint a portrait with a smirk on the face? This is just awful.

    • emmie_a says:

      Maybe because Kate gave the painter a picture of her with a smirk on her face??? This isn’t some huge diss on Kate. The portrait looks exactly like the picture she submitted. She chose the painter, she chose the picture. He did an excellent job painting what she gave him.

  83. Mew says:

    Uh oh outch. Haha! She looks certainly like after a week of hard partying in that picture.

  84. Another K says:

    The portrait is awful but she looks pretty at the unveiling. Her hair is less curl-intense. I wish she would try using a straightener just once.

  85. Cassie3 says:

    The painting is absolutely awful.

    Why do people keep on saying Kate is anorexic or bulimic? Is this because she doesn’t look like Jessica Simpson who is perfectly healthy according to the public here?
    One single example. Gisele was not anorexic neither bulimic during her two pregnancies and she looked very slim during each one. I do know their lifestyles are completely different, Kate is shameless lazy and Gisele is an athlete.

    I can’t stand this spoiled brat but I don’t think that she would kill her own child by starving herself in front of the entire world population. If she really is anorexic/bulimic probably took a break from it, after pregnancy perhaps she will come back to it. Diana went through anorexia or bulimia and was loved by all.

    Rant over. Slap.

  86. Mandy says:

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was really sick well into my second trimester. I actually lost weight before I began gaining and probably didn’t really show until I was 6 mos pregnant. It’s completely normal-given how sick she has been- to not have a bump yet.

  87. Mich says:

    Meh. I don’t hate it and Kate actually looks pleased as punch. In the real world, I think she looks shallow and vapid but the portrait makes her look almost intelligent. It is kind of Mona Lisa-ish with a secret smile thing going on.

  88. cynicalsmirk says:

    Eeeek. That portrait makes me think “The Picture of Duchess Kate” (10 years from now) – hidden away in the attic, aging while she remains ever young. She does not look this old to me in photos.

    • Belle says:

      It IS huge! Much bigger than I thought… also, about half-way down on that page, there is a video of the artist talking about the process. Sounds like they took a bunch of photos of her, and while he used many of them, the main one used is shown there… and it looks pretty accurate to me.

      I feel kind of bad for the artist, everyone is saying how awful the work is… but it isn’t. It is a painting, using photographs… mainly one, which sound like they were either taken by him, or maybe a photographer was there. Either way, Kate was involved in the process, and must have been on board.

      (Thanks for the link!)

  89. alexis says:

    Too bad she didn’t get to show off those veneers in the portrait.

  90. DGO says:

    She refused to sit for the portrait and instead gave the artist a photograph to work from. It’s not a flattering portrait, but it does look like the picture she gave him to use.

  91. Ron says:

    That portrait is horrifying. Wow. it looks like she’s 60 in in it. I would rip that thing off the wall. REDO!

  92. LeeLoo says:

    The portrait is bad, I’m sure even Kate and Wils knows it bad but at least they were gracious to the artist who painted it.

    I’ve never had a kid so I may just be missing the point. I’ve never understood why everyone gets all bump watchy and judges women and their pregnancy based on their baby bump or lack thereof. I figure every woman’s bump is different and she will show when her body is ready to. I have no qualms judging a woman on her pregnancy style or eating habits (side-eye Jessica Simpson). Obviously Kate has hypermeisis and gaining a lot of weight will be more difficult but I have to admit, I do feel bad enough that every move of hers is going to be watched already during her pregnancy. I just hope it’s for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones.

  93. LeeLoo says:

    The portrait is bad, I’m sure even Kate and Wils knows it bad but at least they were gracious to the artist who painted it.

    I’ve never had a kid so I may just be missing the point. I’ve never understood why everyone gets all bump watchy and judges women and their pregnancy based on their baby bump or lack thereof. I figure every woman’s bump is different and she will show when her body is ready to. I have no qualms judging a woman on her pregnancy style or eating habits (side-eye Jessica Simpson). Obviously Kate has hypermeisis and gaining a lot of weight will be more difficult but I have to admit, I do feel bad enough that every move of hers is going to be watched already during her pregnancy. I just hope it’s for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones.

  94. DianeP says:

    Of course they would say they loved the portrait, but probably were appalled. Is the old codger the artist? I seem to remember Princess Diana having her share of not-exactly-flattering portraits done throughout the years.

  95. blonde on the dock says:

    The painting doesnt do her justice. She’s much prettier.

  96. LAK says:

    I don’t think that portrait is bad. It’s not flattering as per all the photos that are released of her which follow the dictat of positive flattering media image, but it’s a truer representation of what Kate looks like.

    She’s the pretty one in her family, but it’s a family of handsome women as opposed to a family of beauties.

    And in repose, Kate has a plain hard face with a masculine quality to it.

    When she smiles or guffaws as we see in many photos, it completely changes her faces and bring out the ‘pretty’ in it.

    And for those calling for her engagement pictures to be used for potrait work, those photos were photoshopped to hell.

  97. Lydia says:

    She is totally flicking him off in one of the pictures. LOL

  98. TG says:

    I feel bad for the Duchess that portrait is horrible. Ann”e” Hathaway should take a lesson in manners from the Duchess. Kate obviously knows the portrait sucks but she did not say that publicly. She only had nice things to say. She didn’t go on about how bittersweet the unveiling of her protrait was. “On the one hand I am so happy to have an official protrait painted of me because I am so special but on the other hand it sucks. I am so much prettier than that.” That would have been Ann”e”‘s response had this hppened to her.

    • Belle says:

      Don’t feel too bad for her… it sounds like she was involved in the process… and a bunch of photos were taken of her (by the artist, I think?) to be used to paint the portrait.

      A link posted above has a video about half way down, with the artist talking about it, and showing photos, etc.

      Here is the link:


      • Holly says:

        If you watch the video, the painting looks exactly like the photos Kate approved. Also, the painting appears to look better in the video, with lighting and such.

      • TG says:

        Thanks for the link. Maybe I just can’t get over the fantasy that a princess should be beautiful, even though I know from history, based on paintings, that that is not the case usually. I am always disappointed when I see portraits or even modern pics of nobles and they are fat, and ugly. I prefer to live in my fantasy head. Anyway, I would make the artist paint me in the best light possible so even if I had imperfections and wasn’t that attractive I would want them to slim me, take away my double chin, ect. I know that is bad but I am too vain/insecure not to do it. Since the Duchess obviously lost a lot of weight before the wedding and only since she announced her pregancy has a fuller face been seen on her I find it hard to believe that the artist saw a fat face when the rest of the world sees a very thin woman.

  99. skuddles says:

    The portrait is excellent in that it really looks like Kate, but they should have captured a different expression. She has very tired looking eyes and there’s something squitchy going on with her mouth, like she’s about to say something.

  100. Cassie3 says:

    Judging by the information posted by some people here and other sites, It’s fair to say that the painter is not the only guilty one in this case.

  101. Sal says:

    Surely they could find a painter who could make Kate look less harsh and uninviting. Her mouth area and nose are wrong. And there is an evil gleam in her eyes. Kate is polite, but I bet secretly she is mortified.

  102. She has snake eyes says:

    Eventually Kate is being exposed, from th nude photos to this artist portrait of her. She’s just a average looking woman, who lacks inner warmth. imo

    Kate’s only beauty is from PHOTOSHOPPING, Go look at her photos when she first met William. She’s no beauty, she’s average at best. Kate’s a plain girl photoshopped to death. She’s always been just a plain jane with a lot of hair.
    Look at her face in those nude photos where she’s caught candid no makeup, her face looks beat as hell.

    • innocent bystander says:

      You can’t attribute it all to photoshopping – you gave to give her some credit. Look at all she’s done on her own to “transform” herself:

      -Hair extensions
      -Fake tan
      -Massively padded uber bras
      -significant weight loss.

      • LAK says:

        And making sure that only flattering pictures are put out in the press.

        Do you remember how haggard she looked in church during the Jubilee? The thing i found sillier about the excuse that she was probably hangover is fact that Kate doesn’t drink to level of hangover anymore. Hasn’t done so for many years, and if you believe the pregnancy time table, she’d given up the drink completely by then.

        people are genuinely shocked that the artist worked from a non photoshopped picture, and because they are so used to seeing the good pictures, they are accusing him of deliberately making her less than she is.

  103. moohoo says:

    Dear kate. Proud of u for going against the grain. Be who u are. U are beautiful as u are and not how others judge u. Good on u for loving this portrait and good luck over the nxt 50 years in marriage and life.

  104. Zozo says:

    Poor guy… He is not to blame. After a huge brainwashing Kate become beautiful to everyone eyes. If you don’t agree, you are just a hater.

    Btw, I don’t believe that she is gorgeous, but Princess Mary of Denmark nailed this one.



    And here a photo of her


  105. Jane says:

    I think this will be a learning curve for Kate as far as portraits. I just viewed a news story on this and the art critic said it was painted from a photo, but I am sure a photo picked by Kate. I think the next time her portrait is painted, she will be more careful about the photo, maybe even have it Photoshopped. It was also mentioned that this will not be her one and only portrait. She will have many more, the Queen has had 129 over years.

  106. JFW3 says:

    We’ve all had photos taken of us making not so flattering faces. The argument is not so much whether this is a genuine portrayal, it’s whether its appropriate as a commisioned piece of a royal that will be an official representation for all of eternity. To me this reeks of an average artist with delusions of grandeur. He could have easily and accurately portayed Kate in a much more flattering light, but instead he chose a cliche (think Mona Lisa’s grimace) to selfishly draw attention to himself and his work. Da Vinci this guy is not, and short of being a master like Da Vinci, a portrait painter should not use a commisioned piece like this as a means of self expression. Nobody wants a portrait drawn of them mid sneeze. Painting a royal mid grimace, while obviously less dramatic, is both disrespectful and negligent. If I were Kate, I’d demand it be repainted.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Oh, brother…

      If you watch the video, it’s an exact representation of a photo that Kate provided to the artist. Also, Kate chose him, so she has no room to complain. And the guy is well-respected as is his technique.

    • Suze says:

      If what you get out of viewing the Mona Lisa is a grimace, then I can see why you find this portrait a travesty.

      Geez, I really need to get off of this thread. I can feel my blood pressure rising.

      • JFW3 says:

        Don’t be so literal! I agree, the mona lisa is NOT a grimace. That’s the point. DaVinci uses an ambiguous smile to create mystery and it comes across as natural. This guy takes what could be an ambiguous or natural smile and makes it lifeless and almost evil looking by starkly highlighting Kates facial flaws and setting it behind a black background.

        Just so you think I’m not pulling this out of my ass, The artist himself has said the following ”-the portrait should convey her natural self as opposed to her official self,”

        There is a place for stark reality, and I’m arguing this isn’t the appropriate venue for it. Still, to be fair, Kate was apparantly going for the natural look too, so maybe the artist deserves some slack in this regard. Whatever the motivations, I do think it’s clear the artist overshot the mark in this case, Instead of creating reality, he created a portrait that is more befitting an evil queen than a young fairly attractive royal.

      • Hmmm says:


        You allude more than once to the Mona Lisa smile transmogrified into the ‘grimace’. It doesn’t mean that’s what the artist was attempting.

        Besides, the Mona Lisa was about more than just the smile.

      • Suze says:

        If you think the artist portrayed Kate unfairly, you must really hate the Lucien Freud portrait of the queen!

        I don’t think Kate looks evil or sinister at all in the portrait – she doesn’t look sunny or happy, but I believe that was the intent.

  107. Reality Bites says:

    Hahaha too funny the melt down when some are shown reality. Kate spent years smoking, clubbing, drinking,vacationing, in person she has been looking older for years. Don’t believe how shocked some are. The portait looks exactly like Kate, heavy makeup, eyeliner, worn out, aging look and all her coldness. That Artist painting is amazing, it captured truth.

  108. Kat says:

    I actually think it looks a lot like her. It just is not an airbrushed representation of her. I do think her nose does not look so flattering however. It is insane that someone can actually paint something that looks so identical to a photograph. I think what makes it odd looking, is that there is almost this foggy looking quality to it, which makes her look older. It is a painting, not a photograph, so he was given his free reign to interpret her as he wanted. What I cannot believe is that she is actually pregnant?! She looks exactly the same as she did three months ago!

  109. Nance says:

    Jesus, he is a PAINTER! Why make a straight copy of a photo? I don’t get it.

    I can understand he could get inspired by photographs, but he should have seen it and change what is awkward (like the mouth…). And this is not like there is not millions of pictures of her on Internet to get inspired from.

    I can understand to play it safe for royals and have a clear idea of the final product, but this painting is NOT flattering at ALL. He can’t have been serious to think it was ok.

  110. Flower says:

    She could hardly complain apparently she chose the artist, a wildlife artist who is more used to painting every hair on a gorilla (as one art critic said)…..she was probably considering what her hair would look like rather than her face. He didn’t even get that right, soft and misty rather than her trade mark salon super shine.

  111. seer says:

    As art goes, I think it’s good. A smooth painting withoud lines would be boring and cartoonish. I think the lines and the full on perspective adds character and makes her look strong and not glamourous. I think a hundred years from now the portrait will be lauded as having captured her perfectly, imperfections and all. I think we are too used to seeing photoshop and photo ops to appreciate the fact that our flaws make add to who we are.

    • Nance says:

      Capturing her? Please, he made a straight copy of an ok picture. This is a sad story.

      • Sachi says:

        Why is it a sad story?

        A child having cancer is a sad story. Someone losing their home because of a calamity is a sad story.

        A painting you happen to dislike isn’t worthy of sadness. It’s just a painting. It doesn’t affect anyone or anything but Kate and her ego and possibly the artist.

        I swear, some people act like a crime has been committed and Kate has been damaged and hurt.

        I doubt Kate went home and cried herself to sleep. She’s probably very happy because this painting is just another sign of her being entrenched in the public consciousness as someone important and worthy of attention and adoration.

  112. Minxx says:

    I do not understand how a guy who copies from photographs calls himself a “painter” and exhibits at the National Gallery. This is just a copy of a photo. Nothing creative here. If she choose him that means she’s insecure and a control freak.. she knew she’d get a portrait from a photo, not something that could possibly be weird or unflattering or revealing. She thought she could control it and it backfired. The painting actually shows her as an uptight, vapid, ambitious social climber.

  113. Jag says:

    This portrait is as bad as the one with the two princes. I think they need a better artist.

  114. Dee says:

    Why isn’t any other of the Royal Family attending?
    It seems only the Middleton family ever attend Kate and Wills outings.

  115. Suze says:

    Calm down everyone. It’s just the first of many portraits she’ll sit for – maybe future ones will meet everyone’s expectations more closely.

    It’s apparently owned by the National Gallery, so there’s going to be no hiding of it in the back of the royal collection. It will be up front for everyone to see, at least for a while.

  116. Amy says:

    At What Kate Wore, they had more of the story. There is a video you can watch on the British royal channel on Youtube about the creation of the portrait. I don’t know if Kate sat for him or not, but he used a ton of pictures to get her features right. The portrait is a copy from an official picture taken of Kate wearing that very blouse and with that expression on her face. He obviously had to get her approval to use that specific picture to base the majority of the portrait. Having seen the original picture, the artist did a pretty good imitation of it. So really we should be criticizing Kate’s choice of photograph for using as a basis for the painting. The guy just copied what she gave him!

    • Hmmm says:

      If he simply “copied” it then what makes him an ‘artist” I wonder.

      • DGO says:

        All art is copied. The only difference is if the subject sits for the artist, or if he/she works from a photograph. Kate wouldn’t do a sitting and requested he work from a photograph. That’s what she got. The painting looks just like the photograph.

      • Minxx says:

        “all art is copied”? There is a HUGE difference in working from a photograph and painting a live person, any art school will tell you that. Art schools usually don’t accept candidates who submit porfolios with paintings copied from photographs. And it’s pretty obvious when they are copied from photos – you can see this kind of “art” in every major tourist area. Kate didn’t want to sit for him because she would not have been able to control the outcome, he could have painted her in a less than flattering (in her mind) way. So she gave him a photo to copy. Insecure, lazy and shallow.

      • Hmmm says:

        So, Waity got a photocopier and not an artist?

  117. Annie B says:

    OK, so did no one else first think of a VC Andrews book, one of the Flowers in the Attic sagas?!?

  118. elllalt says:

    re: Portrait – if Kate wanted to know what she will look like at 60, now she knows. Note to self; review portrait and approve before public unveiling where I might have to smile and lie for the record.

  119. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    It reminds me of portraits of evil Disney Queens

  120. muppet_barbershop says:

    Even Michael K says “What in the Dorian Grey Hell?” and that’s pretty much my thought too. I know it’s been said here, but I am re-saying it.

  121. charlie says:

    At first I thought, “Gah! That is awful!” But after reading through these comments and examining the portrait more, I tend to agree that it looks a lot like Waity when she doesn’t have her Cheshire grin plastered on her face. Without the grin, I’ve always thought she looks rather cold, hard, calculating, and older than she is. I commend the artist for capturing the reality but wonder at the Doolittles allowing this to be released. She can’t be happy with it; not with her vanity.

    Did anyone notice that Waity’s arms have been painted blue to match her blouse (or dress) in the portrait? In the original photo that she submitted to the painter, her arms are bare in a sleeveless blouse.

  122. Moi says:

    Wow I agree, it’s not good. I would politely, somehow, request a re-do.

  123. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    A picture may say a thousand words but whatever this thread is is far more intense.


    What Would Oliver Cromwell Do?

  124. GByeGirl says:

    Wow, a little surprised by all the hate for Kate. Horrible portrait, beautiful woman. My only issue with her is the eyeliner IRL. She seems like a lovely person.

  125. Lala says:

    Can anybody here please tell me what this woman accomplished or contibuted to the well – being of her country to be given a portrait painted in the national gallery? And please do not bring up such examples as tourism or fashion since it is an absolute nonsense.

  126. Elceibeno says:

    I can’t believe Kate’s husband would allow this awful painting to be unveiled. If this was 500 years ago, the painter would have been beheaded.

  127. Carolyn says:

    “Off with his head” (the painter’s). I’m shocked that painting has seen the light of day. It has no life, spark or vision. I could do better. Wait…my 11 year old daughter could do better. Just so awful on all counts.

  128. JulieM says:

    I just noticed something. Kate has a mole above her lip. I don’t see it in the portrait. Maybe it’s there and I just don’t see it. Who says you can’t photoshop a painting.

    Wait, on second look. I think I do see it faintly. Anyone else see it?

  129. Zombie Shortcake says:

    Lol Methinks the artist was following QEII’s instruction. Or, he personally doesn’t like the subject.

    • Zombie Shortcake says:

      Holy crap-Just read that link Belle posted. Cannot believe Kate herself gave the artist personal instruction!!!! And she’s an Art major! The painting really is an accurate/realistic reproduction of a very unflattering photo. That is a “I got the prize haters” victory smirk. I wonder if William told her to choose that photo to give to Emsley? He seems to never want for her to make too good an impression.

  130. Nicolette says:

    I like her. The portrait is awful, looks like it’s about to say “Mirror mirror on the wall…….”. But protocol makes her stand there and act as if it’s fabulous. I love the color of the dress she is wearing.

  131. Less is More says:

    I had a dream last night I was discussing Kate’s ultrasound with the Queen. Strange but true.
    Anyway, according to the dream the child is a BOY. Prophetic dream?

    My gut feeling is in direct contrast with my dream.

    We’ll see…….

  132. Sachi says:

    People are just mad because they’re used to seeing Kate with 5 layers of makeup on, a maniacal grin on her face, and usually helped by Photoshop and different lighting to soften up her features.

    Now that she’s painted as she really is without all that professional help: cold, smug, no warmth in her eyes, and looking 10 years older, her fans are blaming the artist for “making Kate look old and ugly” and saying their own children can do better, calling for the artist’s head on a pike like it’s still the 1500s.


    Do these people even hear themselves? They’re basically calling for someone’s murder and execution over a f*cking painting, and all because he didn’t make Saint Kate of the Holy Eyeliner and Good Hair Extensions look like a Disney Princess!!!!

    You wanna see the “real” Kate without Photoshop and professional hair and makeup styling? This was her in 2011 during her extreme dieting phase and before all the botox and cosmetic treatments she’s had since then:



    Those photos are untouched and unedited, taken by a member of the public.

    Is the person who took those photos also a Kate-hater who made Kate look ugly and dried up? Should he be sued and arrested? Or should he/she be asked to re-take the photos and make Kate look prettier and better?

    Get over yourselves, sycophants. Kate is not perfect-looking and there’s nothing wrong with that. She doesn’t have perfect skin and that’s fine. She has a smirk on her face and that’s OK, too. Her looking smug is nothing new.

    This painting, IMO, makes her look more human than the Kate who is always “on” for the cameras every time she attends an event.

  133. Another K says:

    Wow! Such energy on this thread! It always amazes me how super serious people take all this Kate stuff. Fun to read, I must admit. Does anyone here actually know Kate? I wonder what she’s really like. And what she really looks like.

  134. Asdfg says:

    The over all painting is incredible! Does the painting make her look older? Yes! Is that such a bad thing? No! People need to chill out! Appreciate the art for what it is! Geeze! The man obviously spent a lot of time on this portrait give him a little credit and respect! Just sayin… :P

  135. cumber says:

    seriously I dont understand why people seem can not accept Kate, whatever she does will be damned.
    for me, Kate is not beautiful, but that’s my opinion. and I’m a woman of color, so I have different standard of what I call a beauty.
    However I do admit that Kate Middleton is a good looking, delightful to look at, and a cute woman. I can understand why Prince William find her attractive and fell for her. and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that painting and her overall appearance. if there’s any criticism that I can give to her, I just wish that she would gain abit weight, maybe just 4-5 pounds. She looks more cute and appealing after she got pregnant.

    • JulieM says:

      Cumber- it’s not a question of accepting her. She’s married to William, done deal. It’s the whatever she does she gets criticized thing that goes to the heart of it. She doesn’t DO anything. She spent her entire adult life being William’s door mat and it worked. She bagged him, all right. She could now be trying to make a difference in the lives of her future subjects; nothing, bupkis. Then you have the palace in PR overdrive trying to make something out of her and she is giving them nothing to work with. Nothing. I used to feel sorry for William; always thought he could do better. But now, I think they deserve each other. They are a very complimentary couple. Shallow.

      I do not respect her at all. But she certainly is not ugly. She is attractive in a plain sort of way. I do agree with you, though, she could use a few more pounds on her. I think once the pregnancy advances, we will see something along those lines. For the sake of the baby.

  136. Jill says:

    Perhaps a portait of her on the balcony with her boobs hanging out would have been better lol

  137. Paddy says:

    Great to see that she made the most miraculous Lazarus like recovery from HG. DM site now removes any comments about her “HG” & also selectively removes the mildest criticism of PW (lack of time spent flying)! The Palace PR bodes have relly messed up with these two.

  138. LadyMarmalade says:

    “She’s a full-on Monet! From far away it’s okay, but up close it’s a big ol’ mess.”

    I heart Clueless.

  139. homey says:

    look at the body language when she’s flipping the bird, total chola moment!! (subconscious?)