Photograph of Catherine, Princess of Wales published in Tatler magazine sparks debate


A new portrait of Catherine, Princess of Wales has sparked controversy online, with some royal fans criticising the portrait for its portrayal of the future British queen.

The painting, by British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, is featured on the cover of Tatler magazine's July issue. According to a statement from the publication sent to CNN on Thursday, it is intended to honor the princess' “strength and dignity.”

It depicts Catherine during her attendance at the first state banquet of the reign of King Charles III, and Uzor said he studied photographs of the princess in the process of creating the work.

“When you can't meet the person in person, you have to look at everything you can and piece together the subtle human moments that appear in different photos: Is there a particular way they're standing or holding their head or hands? Do they have a particular body language?” he said in the statement.

Yui Mok/Reuters

Photo of the Princess of Wales at a state banquet on November 21, 2023.

Uzor also revealed that the recent video announcing Kate's cancer diagnosis informed the work.

“All of my portraits are built from layers of personality, constructed from whatever I can find about them,” she said in the statement.

However, not everyone liked the portrayal of the princess.

“This is awful – somehow, I'm not sure the artist is a fan of the princess – it looks like a bad GCSE project,” reads one comment under a post on Tatler on X.

“This looks absolutely nothing like the Princess of Wales. It's horrible, it's disrespectful,” another post read.


Artist Hannah Uzor.

Another said: “I agree with the sentiments of strength and dignity but the picture bears no resemblance to the Princess of Wales.”

However, some people praised the work, with one calling the painting “beautiful.”

Another commenter wrote, “Am I the only person who likes this? It's art, not a photo.”

And it wasn't just social media users who reacted to the painting.

Alastair Sook, chief art critic of the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, said in an article that the painting was “unbearably bad” and “bears no resemblance to its subject.”

“Has there been a flatter, more lifeless royal portrait in living memory?” Sook wrote. “Underneath the Lego-like helmet of irregular, dull brown 'hair', this Princess of Wales has as much charisma as a useless statue on top of a wedding cake.”

Kate Mancey, the royal editor of the London Times, was also not happy.

“I don't know what to say about it except, hmm…” he wrote on X.

The reaction follows a similar discussion over the first official portrait of King Charles III since his coronation, which was revealed earlier this month.

The 8.5 by 6.5 foot painting by British artist Jonathan Yeo depicts the king dressed in Welsh Guards uniform, sword in hand, against a fiery red background that almost swallows him whole, as if a butterfly is about to land on him . His shoulder.

While King is reportedly happy with the portrait, others have criticised the garish red brushstrokes, with one person comparing it to “a horror movie poster”.

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