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January 11th 2013 / 0 comment
The Duchess of Cambridge has not been painted in a very flattering light in her official portrait, Sarah Vine reports
You've got to love the Duchess of Cambridge. Only a person as nice and enthusiastic as our Kate could profess to be "thrilled" with a portrait that looks like it’s been painted from one of those apps which show you what you're going to look like if you drink two bottles of wine a day for the next ten years.
Her eyes are too small, the bridge of her nose is too wide, the proportions of her face are all wrong, and her awkward smile makes the Mona Lisa look positively jolly. In short, she looks ghostly, hungover and a bit dusty, not attributes one tends to associate with the generally fragrant, radiant Duchess.
Luckily, her mum and her sister have not yet learned to compose their expressions quite so effectively. The photograph of Pippa and Mrs M leaving the unveiling is absolutely priceless: you can just see Pippa mouthing "Jesus Christ, what the hell was that" in the general direction of her stony-faced mother.
The person you've really got to feel sorry for, though, is the artist, Paul Emsley. Art is not an exact science, and even the best painters can have off-days. Sometimes, of course, the portrait artist can capture aspects of the sitter that are either unfamiliar - or, as in this case, unwanted (such as the dark circles beneath the Duchess’ eyes).
Only time will tell whether this first portrait turns out to be as bad as everyone seems to think it is. Right now, it certainly seems at odds with the glossy image of the Princess.
April 26th 2022