Critics condemn ‘dreadful’ Kate portrait and question likeness to princess

British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor’s work, which will feature on the cover of Tatler magazine, was designed to depict Kate’s courage and dignity.

A new portrait of the Princess of Wales, which is to feature on the cover of Tatler magazine, has been criticised by royal fans and art critics.

The painting by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor took inspiration from Kate’s cancer diagnosis video message to the nation.

But social media users poked fun at the canvas, questioning the likeness.

One asked, “Is this a parody?”, while another wrote, “That is never the princess, that is another woman in her dress”, and others branded it “dreadful”.

The image shows the princess at the first state banquet of the King’s reign.

She is pictured composed, standing and facing forwards in a regal, caped white Jenny Packham floor-length evening dress with sparkling detail on the shoulders, and her go-to tiara, the Lover’s Knot.

She wore the ensemble to the South African state banquet at Buckingham Palace in November 2022.

Princess of Wales during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace in London. / Credit: PA

Kate’s portrait is set against a green-blue background – a nod to Kate’s eye colour and the experience of being in a garden and on water, reflecting the princess’s love of rowing, Ms Uzor said.

Asked whether the princess’s recent cancer diagnosis video gave her a new perspective, the artist said: “Without a doubt. All my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them.”

Kate’s public address showed “a moment of dealing with something difficult, speaking from the heart, having the courage to tackle it head-on”, she added.

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

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

“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.

The princess recording her message announcing her cancer diagnosis / Credit: BBC Studios/PA

The painter, based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is, like Kate, a mother of three, and added: “‘I sense with her the joy of motherhood.”

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

The full feature in the July issue of Tatler is available by digital download and on newsstands from May 30.

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