Eyebrows raise over portrait of Princess Kate


There is quite a buzz on social media about a painting of Princess Catherine of Britain that is on the latest cover of the British glossy magazine Tatler appear.

The painting by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor is now in the global spotlight, with mixed reactions from art experts, the media and the public.

Some of the more positive responses point out that the princess’s dress in the painting is at least recognizable.

The Princess of Wales wore the flowy Jenny Packham gown in November 2022 at the first banquet after King Charles III’s reign began.

Kate, as the princess is popularly known, wore her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana’s jewels during the event. The earrings are visible in the painting.

She did not sit for the artwork, and it was modeled on photos and videos.

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

Alistair Sooke, chief art critic at the Daily Telegraphsaid the painting is “jaw-hits-the-floor-bad“.

Kate Mansey, Assistant Editor of The Timessaid: “I don’t really know what to say about this, except, h’m…”.

Tatler refers to the painting on the cover as a “portrait of strength and dignity”.

However, some online critics were not so sure about this portrayal of Princess Kate.

“Is this a parody? Love the artist, she is very stylish, but the painting, although lovely… It doesn’t look like the Princess of Wales,” Aleisha wrote on social media.

“It looks like a bad GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) project!” said one Fi on X.

However, the painting also has its supporters, with Fafo saying it’s good enough that the depiction is still recognisable, even if it doesn’t look quite like Kate.

“For me it works,” Fafo added.

“Painting in any medium of your choice does not mean it has to look like a photograph. This is an interpretation. She captured the princess’ facial expression very well,” was Marie Therese’s comment.

According to Uzor’s entry on social media, it was “important to capture the soul of the person” and she “really tried to get a sense of who she is”.

“Colour is one of the most important things in a work of art, because it can really speak to the atmosphere,” Uzor said on social media, adding that the “bluish, turquoise background” refers to Kate’s green eyes.

RNews reported last week that the first official portrait of King Charles III since his coronation in 2023 had people talking worldwide when it was unveiled at Buckingham Palace.

In the portrait, it looks as if the king is stepping out of a red cloud, something thousands of people have commented on on the royals’ official social media platforms. The comment section of the portrait post on Instagram has since been closed after people expressed their displeasure with the painting.

Some users compared the painting to a “blood bath”, while others said it looked like the king was “in hell”.

Despite the controversy over Kate’s latest cover, she continues to stay out of the public eye after announcing in March that she was receiving cancer treatment.

Kensington Palace said this week that the princess would not return to her official duties until she had received the green light from her medical team.

Additional source: BBC, Tatler