Prince William and Kate Middleton’s First Official Portrait Is Receiving Some Heavy Criticism

In line with tradition within the monarchy, an artist has painted Prince William and Kate Middleton in their first official portrait together. And not everyone is happy with what they see. Keep reading to learn about the artist and why the picture of the royal couple is significant. Plus, why don’t some critics like the work?

Prince William and Kate Middleton (L) view their first official joint portrait, painted by Jamie Coreth (R)
(L) Prince William and Kate Middleton (R) Jamie Coreth | Paul Edwards/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Who painted the first official portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and why is it significant?

The painting’s artist, Jamie Coreth, previously painted for the royal family. Then came the honor of a commission to paint Prince William and Middleton for their first official joint portrait. It’s an important tradition in the monarchy dating back centuries.

“It has been the most extraordinary privilege of my life to be chosen to paint this picture,” Coreth shared (per Newsweek.)

“I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a manner where they appeared both relaxed and approachable, as well as elegant and dignified,” he explained. “As it is the first portrait to depict them together, and specifically during their time as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a feeling of balance between their public and private lives.”

Middleton mixed modern style with classic symbols of the monarchy for the painting. She wore a shimmery green dress and high-fashion high heels. At the same time, she showcased timeless pieces of jewelry. Her accessories included earrings and a bracelet that once belonged to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana.

Some critics had strong negative reactions to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first official portrait

As reported by Newsweek, opinions on the first official joint portrait of Prince William and Middleton vary, but many were not good. For instance, A.N Wilson for The Daily Mail said the painting is “wistful, slightly petulant and actually unrecognizable as Our Kate.”

Wilson added, “While the Cambridge family are certainly all still young and beautiful, they should be commissioning some good art to immortalize them.”

“This would not just be an act of vanity,” Wilson declared. “It would be a proclamation to the world, and to future generations, of why we pin our hopes on them for a continuation of the constitutional monarchy.”

Meanwhile, the Times of London’s chief art critic called it a “swagger portrait” and said the couple looks like “shop window mannequins made to advertise a modern monarchy.”

Not everyone dislikes the portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton

Some observers had favorable opinions of the painting, also reported by Newsweek. The Telegraph’s Alastair Sooke said the piece of art offers “a flash of [William and Kate’s] private selves, which counteracts the occasion’s public formality.”

Broadcaster Dr. Joy Henningsen seemed overall impressed, noting, “Duchess Kate’s likeness is spot on. Prince William’s is also quite good — [although] he is more handsome than in this photo!”

And in a video shared on the Royal Family Channel, the couple saw the portrait for the first time. They smiled as they looked over their likenesses, seemingly pleased.

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