Kate Unveils her First Official Portrait

The first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge was unveiled this morning at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

The painting was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and, following Kate’s suggestion, it depicts her natural, not official, persona. Award-winning artist Paul Emsley created the large head and shoulders painting of the duchess set against his trademark dark background.

William and Kate received a private viewing of the painting this morning before it went on display to the public. The couple spent 10 minutes looking at the portrait and then met Emsley, his wife Susanne and daughter Marie.

Among the guests were Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her brother and sister Pippa and James.

Kate shopped her closet and wore her burgundy Whistles ‘Sofie Rae’ dress (Autumn 2011) with a black velvet belt. She last wore this dress under the unnamed, burgundy coat by an independent British designer when she visited Newcastle in October of last year.

The ‘Sofie Rae’ is a stunning pure silk dress from Whistles ($135 and no longer available) in a warm seasonal burgundy, with a deep v-neckline, long sleeves and a flattering defined waist. Elegant and versatile, with a floating midi skirt and removable belt.

Completing her outfit, the Duchess wore black suede Episode ‘Angel’ heels, her ufo black clutch, her Asprey 167 Button Pendant and her bespoke Kiki McDonough green amethyst and diamond drop earrings.

Additional Information About Kate’s Portrait & the Artist

The portrait is an oil on canvas and bigger than life size 1152 x 965 (45 3/8 x 38).

Paul Emsley is a Glasgow-born, South African-raised painter. Kate sat for Emsley in two sittings last May and June. The first was at Kensington Palace and the second at his studio in Bradford-upon-Avon in southwest England. He worked from photographs spent 3½ months creating the painting.

Odds & Ends

On Wednesday, January 9th, Kate celebrated her 31st birthday. She attended a London showing of Cirque du Soleil with William, her sister Pippa, brother James, and parents Carole and Michael Middleton.

Update 1/15/2013

Kate’s blouse from her formal sitting in her first official portrait has been ID’d! Thanks so much to Repli-Kate It on FB for bringing this to our attention. The navy ‘Sub Silky Tie Top’ (£37 and currently on sale) is by French Connection. On a side note, the blouse is available in four colors (antique lace, evergreen, navy and rust red).


Details from the French Connection website: www.frenchconnection.com

‘Lightweight tie-neck top is a soft drape style that simply exudes sophistication.
Sub Silky Tie Top has a pussy-bow tie at neck, covered button placket through front and small cap sleeves. This top is demi-sheer.
 * style code – 72XH6
 * Machine Washable
 * 100% Polyester’

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