Portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Is the first official portrait of Catherine Elizabeth Middleton (Berkshire, 1982), now Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The portrait was painted by the artist Paul Emsley (Glasgow, 1947) in 2012 and was published on January 11, 2013. It is located in The National Portrait Gallery, London, which commissioned the work.

The Duchess sat for Emsley twice; for a day’s session in May 2012 at the artist’s studio in Bradford-upon-Avon, and a brief session in June 2012 at Kensington Palace, where he did quick drawings and took more photographs—and he used photographs to assist him. Emsley took 15 weeks to complete the painting, which was presented to the trustees of the gallery in November 2012. The Duchess, contrary to considerable criticism in the art world, highly praised the portrait after viewing it initially in a private family gathering.

The first official painted portrait The Duchess of Cambridge is currently on display in Room 39. The artist, Glasgow-born Paul Emsley, grew up in South Africa and won first prize in the BP Portrait Award (2007). Painting Her Royal Highness at the beginning of her public life.

Originally, Emsley had planned to produce an unsmiling portrait. But on meeting the duchess he changed his mind. He also knew he wanted to make a feature of Catherine’s hair.


Details of the work:

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge


By Paul Emsley (b.1947)

Oil on canvas, 2012

1152 x 965 (45 3/8 x 38)

NPG 6956



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