The Duchess of Cambridge’s first official portrait by artist Paul Emsley was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery today.
The National Portrait Gallery’s painting of it’s patron was commissioned through the Art Fund. The Duchess was involved in the selection process, from which artist Paul Emsley, the 2007 winner of the Gallery’s BP Portrait Award competition, was chosen by Director Sandy Nairne to paint her official portrait.
At The Duchess’s request the oil on canvas painting portrays her natural rather than official persona and it paints a mature picture of her; she is gently smiling and framed by her beautiful glossy hair. The earrings in the painting were once a favourite of Princess Diana and given to Kate as a wedding gift from William.
The royal couple saw it during a 10-minute private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery this morning and The Duke and Duchess later attended a private breakfast reception at the London gallery to mark the unveiling. Among the guests were Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her brother and sister Pippa and James. The Duke had high praise for the painting, saying: “It’s beautiful, it’s absolutely beautiful.”
The painting will be hung in the main concourse of the gallery for the public to view from this afternoon.