Royal portraits have historically been stuffy affairs. Rigid and stoic, their faces over the centuries have glared out at us with glazed eyes. Sadly, the first portrait of the Duchess, Kate Middleton, despite having a contemporary composition, and despite her being one of the most lively members of the royal family, Kate's portrait is not unlike the ones that have preceded it, and most reviews agree.
Artist Paul Elmsley has given her lifeless eyes and skin that is almost grey in hue. "Fortunately," the Daily Mail writes, "the Duchess of Cambridge looks nothing like this in real life. I'm really sad to say this is a rotten portrait."
"Paul Emsley has managed quite a feat making the future Queen look like a dowdy 45-year-old." The Mirror said, "This horrible, soft-lens style painting - which the Duchess emerges from in an almost ghostly way - robs her of any of the sparkle and life she is loved for."
The Guardian held nothing back questionning "how is it that [Kate] has been transformed into something unpleasant from the Twilight franchise?" Adding that, "The first thing that strikes you about Middleton's visage as it looms from the sepulchral gloom of her first official portrait is the dead eyes: a vampiric, malevolent glare beneath heavy lids."