Skip to Content

A new portrait of Kate Middleton has created a surprising controversy on social media.

The piece by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor was commissioned by the magazine Tatler.

It appears to have been inspired by a look that Kate sported at a state banquet in November of 2022, the first such event under the reign of King Charles.

Catherine, Princess of Wales during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England.
Catherine, Princess of Wales during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton Portrait Receives Backlash on Social Media

The portrait has received a harsh reaction on social media, where many users have criticized its lack of resemblance to the real-life Princess of Wales.

“Disappointing portrait … our POW [Princess of Wales] is far more beautiful …” one user wrote, according to Page Six.

“A very poor portrait which totally fails to represent the beauty and elegance of the Princess of Wales,” another added.

“What a horrible portrait for a beautiful Woman,” a third chimed in.

Other commenters were more sympathetic, arguing that while the portrait might not resemble most photos of Kate, it still has artistic value.

“The painting is beautiful but does not look like the princess,” one noted, according to The Washington Post.

Interestingly, this is the second controversy involving a portrait of a member of the royal family in as many weeks.

A visitor looks at the new official portrait of King Charles III, painted by British artist Jonathan Yeo, displayed at the Philip Mould gallery, on Pall Mall, central London, on May 16, 2024 following its official unveiling two days ago at Buckingham Palace.
A visitor looks at the new official portrait of King Charles III, painted by British artist Jonathan Yeo, displayed at the Philip Mould gallery, on Pall Mall, central London, on May 16, 2024 following its official unveiling two days ago at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

King Charles’ First Official Portrait Also Drew Criticism

The first portrait of Charles as king also received a very mixed response on social media.

Many felt that the impressionistic depiction of the monarch was needlessly grim and ominous.

Some complained that it was an odd time for such a statement, as the royals have been enduring one crisis after another in recent months.

Back in February, the world was stunned by the news that Charles had been diagnosed with cancer.

Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales smiles as she arrives to attend the "Together At Christmas" Carol Service" at Westminster Abbey in London on December 8, 2023.
Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales smiles as she arrives to attend the “Together At Christmas” Carol Service” at Westminster Abbey in London on December 8, 2023. (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Just a few weeks later, the royals revealed that Kate is also battling cancer.

In both cases, the severity of the cancer and the organs affected have been kept private.

So, twice in the past month, a royal who is battling illness has been the subject of a controversial painting.

Kate did not actually pose for her portrait. But the artist says she spent many hours contemplating the princess’ appearance and temperament before putting brush to canvas.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge engages in a walkabout in Ballymena town centre on February 28, 2019 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge engages in a walkabout in Ballymena town centre on February 28, 2019 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

“I spent a lot of time looking at her, looking at her pictures, watching videos of her, seeing her with her family, seeing her diplomatic visits, seeing her when she’s rowing or visiting children at hospice,” Uzor said in a video posted by Tatler.

The artist added that the goal of her work is to capture “the soul of the person.”

Obviously, folks are free to express their opinions about Uzor’s painting in whatever way they choose.

But hopefully, some of the amateur critics will bear in mind that realism is not the goal of all art. And the painting might have succeeded in depicting Kate in an entirely new light.