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Royal portraits are really making waves lately (Jonathan Yeo’s rather red portrait of King Charles III was a viral sensation, sparking debate about the best way to catch the monarch’s likeness). Now, Kate Middleton, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, is in the spotlight after Tatler magazine revealed a new cover portrait of the Princess of Wales which is just as polarising as the Charles image. The painted portrait, by the British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, commissioned for the July cover, depicts Kate in a white gown and is inspired by her appearance at King Charles’s first state banquet in November 2022.

Uzor says that she sifted through 189,000 photos of Kate to “capture her likeness,” according to Tatler. “It’s really important to capture the soul of the person, so I spent a lot of time looking at her and looking at her pictures, watching videos of her, seeing her with her family, seeing her in diplomatic visits, seeing her rowing or visiting children in a hospice,” she said in an Instagram post. But critics didn’t hold back. Alastair Sooke of The Telegraph called it “egregiously, intolerably, jaw-hits-the-floor bad”. Some online commentators were more charitable with one calling the piece “states(wo)manlike”. To see more of Uzor’s work, head to Niru Ratnam Gallery in London which is hosting the Conversations with Grandma show (please note—closes 25 May).

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