‘Jaw-hit-the-floor-bad’ portrait of Kate sparks uproar

Hannah Uzor on her portrait

Source: Tatler

A new portrait of the Princess of Wales has sparked a stir, with online critics blasting it as everything from a high-school art project to a parody.

The picture of Kate, wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince William, adorns the cover of the latest edition of British high society magazine Tatler.

It shows the 42-year-old princess in one of her most famous looks – wearing a designer gown and the Lover’s Knot tiara, famously also worn by Princess Diana, for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2022.

It has drawn a divisive reaction on social media.

“It looks like a bad GCSE project!” wrote Fi on X.

“Is this a parody? Love the artist … she’s very stylish … but the painting, while lovely … doesn’t look like the Princess of Wales,” said Aleisha.

“What a horrible portrait for a beautiful woman,” wrote a third unhappy critic.

The chief art critic of Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Alastair Sooke, labelled it “jaw-hits-the-floor bad”.

The controversial artwork is by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, and is part of a series of portraits of the royal family. It was reportedly based on thousands of photographs and hours of video footage rather an in-person sitting, with Kate still absent from public life as she is treated for cancer and recuperates from surgery in January.

Amid the uproar, Uzor has defended her work.

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

“All my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them.”

Uzor said she was an admirer of Kate.

“She has really risen up to her role – she was born for this,” she said. “She carries herself with such dignity, elegance and grace.”

Tatler has also stood by the work on the cover of its July edition. It said it was of “historic magnitude” and a “portrait of strength and dignity”.

To be fair, not everyone was unhappy with the latest image of the princess.

“This is stunning. These comments are wild. The energy captured is exquisite,” one follower said.

Royal portraits are often controversial – as was seen only last week when the first painting of the King since he assumed the throne was unveiled.

The vivid image depicts the King in the bright red uniform of the Welsh Guards against a background of similar hues. The sea of red led to comments the monarch looked “like he’s in hell”.

The Kate portrait comes a day after Kensington Palace confirmed there is still no firm date for her return to public life. News earlier this week that she had been briefed on a major report by the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood sparked speculation it might be imminent.

But it was quickly quashed, with Kensington Palace saying the latest update “should not be seen as the Princess of Wales returning to work”.

She would do so only once doctors gave the “green light”, a source said.

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