Kate Middleton
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Hannah Uzor’s Royal Portrait of Princess Kate Sparks Online Criticism

A new royal portrait of the Princess of Wales, created by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, has ignited a storm of criticism online. The painting, which graced the front cover of Tatler magazine, has been described by many as an “insult” to Princess Catherine, prompting a wave of negative reactions from fans and casual art critics alike.

The artwork depicts the Princess in a floor-length Jenny Packham gown with embellished shoulders and the iconic ‘lover’s knot’ tiara. This portrayal is reminiscent of her appearance at the 2022 State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, the first state banquet under King Charles’ reign. In a video for Tatler, Uzor explained that she aimed to capture “the soul” of her subject, noting that she “spent a lot of time looking at her.”

Despite Uzor’s efforts, the portrait was met with widespread disapproval. Social media users did not hold back in expressing their disdain for the artwork. One Instagram user commented, “A very poor portrait which totally fails to represent the beauty and elegance of the Princess of Wales.” Another person wrote, “This is not HRH The Princess of Wales. God knows who it is, but it is not HRH.”

The criticism extended to X (formerly Twitter), where one user remarked, “That portrait on the cover is horrid! It’s an insult to HRH Catherine Princess of Wales.” Another quipped, “This is Kate Middleton’s first official portrait as Princess of Wales. She’s been missing so long, both the artist and the royal family forgot what she looks like.”

The backlash wasn’t limited to negative comments, though. Some people defended Uzor and her work. One user wrote, “Please stop. I feel so sorry for the artist, Hannah Uzor, who was inspired to paint this lovely portrait of The Princess of Wales. Simply appreciate it as a work of art and move on. Uzor is very talented.” Another added, “To be fair, it’s a bit hard to do a drawing from life at present.”

The divisive reaction to Princess Catherine’s portrait follows closely on the heels of another controversial royal portrait. Just a week earlier, a portrait of King Charles by British artist Jonathan Yeo also faced scrutiny. At the unveiling of his artwork at Buckingham Palace, Yeo shared that the only guidance he received was the specific scale and a preference for the monarch to be depicted in uniform. He chose to incorporate the red of the Welsh Guards but aimed for a contemporary feel to highlight the King’s face and personality.

An Instagram user, commenting on both portraits, remarked, “Who is making decisions on these commissions? The portraits are getting weirder and weirder. This is quite amateurish and does not resemble HRH. Considering what she’s going through, I guess this will give her a good chuckle.”

While Uzor’s portrait of Princess Catherine has certainly sparked outrage, it has also highlighted the subjective nature of art and the varied responses it can evoke.

@matta_of_fact

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