Kate Middleton’s official portrait, unveiled in January of 2013, left some unimpressed. The Telegraph headline at the time called Paul Emsley’s portrayal “[a] picture of maturity,” reflecting less of her youth than her inevitable advancing age.
The National Post summarized the Emsley portrait – otherwise an example of his extreme talent as a portrait artist – in part by pointing out the inclusion of features that imply age: “Her pale complexion brings out the fine lines under the eyes, and the light adds a hint of silver to her rich brown hair.”
The gloomy official portrait has new competition. Scottish artist Tom Sutton-Smith responded to the portrait controversy by putting his own image of Middleton onto the canvas. Sutton-Smith tried to capture Middleton’s personality, criticizing the official portrait as too serious. As quoted by the Daily Times, Sutton-Smith said:
“[I]n all the photos one sees of her, she is smiling and laughing… [Kate Middleton is] kind of sparkly and I was trying to convey that in the eyes and mouth. Those are the hard bits to get right[.]”
The official portrait by Emsley was indeed meant to reflect Kate Middleton’s natural instead of official persona, and features her wearing earrings once owned by Princess Diana.
Now, it seems the new painting has a fan in Kate Middleton’s husband, Prince William.
When William and Kate saw the portrait in Scotland during an exhibition where it was on display, the prince was effusive in his praise. Sutton-Smith was not in attendance, having previously arranged a trip to Paris according to Vanity Fair, but his colleague Glenys Andrew quoted Prince William’s reaction:
“Wow, it’s brilliant! That’s going up in my room.”
The irony in that comment, of course, is that Kate Middleton had posters of her future husband on her wall while she was a student.
Andrews also conveyed Kate’s reaction to the portrait, which was apparently as positive as William’s. Her face “lit up,” and “[s]he reached out her arms to hold it and stared at it,” Andrews said.
Vanity Fair was quick to point out that Prince William was photographed drinking whiskey (or “whisky,” in Scotland) earlier in the day, implying some measure of inebriation may have played a role in his reaction.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Kate Middleton went to Scotland after making news in Australia for an unfortunate wardrobe slip while departing from a helicopter.
[Image: Left: The Telegraph; Right: Tom Sutton-Smith]