Portrait of Princess of Wales appears on magazine cover - after King's official painting unveiled

22 May 2024, 12:51 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 15:43

A portrait of the Princess of Wales, which takes inspiration from her cancer diagnosis video message, has been unveiled.

The painting by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor was published on the front cover of Tatler magazine - a week after the first official painted portrait of the King was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on 14 May.

It shows Kate in a white floor-length Jenny Packham evening dress that she wore to the first state banquet of the King's reign in 2022.

The image is set against a green-blue background - a nod to Kate's eye colour and her love of rowing, the artist said.

It was commissioned by high society magazine, Tatler, and features on the front cover of the July edition to honour the royal's "courage and dignity".

The princess did not sit for the portrait and Ms Uzor researched photos of her to inform her work, saying she had found more than 189,000 images of Kate in a picture archive.

Asked whether Kate's recent cancer diagnosis video gave her a new perspective for the piece, Ms Uzor said: "Without a doubt. All my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them."

She said the public address showed "a moment of dealing with something difficult, speaking from the heart, having the courage to tackle it head-on".

The artist expressed her admiration for Kate, who has stepped away from the public spotlight while she undergoes treatment.

"She has really risen up to her role - she was born for this. She carries herself with such dignity, elegance and grace," Ms Uzor said.

However, the portrait has received a mixed reception, with some critics and royal fans questioning its likeness to the princess.

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The Daily Telegraph's chief art critic Alastair Sooke called the depiction "egregiously, intolerably, jaw-hits-the-floor bad".

Writing on social media, one person commented: "That is never the princess, that is another woman in her dress."

Another X user praised Ms Uzor's style, saying: "Love the artist... she's very stylish."

But they added: "The painting, while lovely... doesn't look like the Princess of Wales..."

The recent portrait of the King, by renowned portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, also gained similar criticism from online commentators, who compared the red hue that covers the painting of the monarch to a scene from a horror film.

Ms Uzor is the third artist to receive a commission from Tatler to paint a portrait of a member of the royal family.

She gained prominence in 2020 with her portrait of Queen Victoria's African goddaughter, Sara Forbes Bonetta.