The first official portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was released Thursday.
The portrait of Prince William, who turned 40 this week, and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, was painted by British artist Jamie Coreth and “commissioned in 2021 by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund, held by the Cambridge Community Foundation, as a gift to Cambridgeshire,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
“With this brief in mind, the artist worked to incorporate the City of Cambridge into the portrait by painting the background with the tones and colours of many of the historical stone buildings that are synonymous with the city,” the palace said. “The portrait also includes the use of a hexagonal architectural motif which can be seen on buildings across Cambridge.”
The portrait features the duchess in a stunning green dress and matching shoes, with a bracelet on her right wrist and her hair flowing straight over shoulders. William is decked out in a dark suit and blue tie, with a handkerchief tucked elegantly into his outward chest pocket and his left hand resting in the pocket of his pants. Both appear to be looking off slightly to their right.
The portrait will be on display for the public to see for the next three years at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. After that, it will be displayed in other areas around Cambridgeshire and loaned to the National Portrait Gallery next year to commemorate that gallery’s reopening.
Coreth, who graduated from the Florence Academy of Art, won the Young Artist Award at the National Portrait Gallery’s annual BP Portrait Exhibition in 2016 for his work “Dad Sculpting Me.” Since then, his work has appeared twice at the exhibitions, and his “Portrait of Fatima” was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2020, while also winning the Visitors’ Choice.
“It has been the most extraordinary privilege of my life to be chosen to paint this picture,” Coreth said in a statement. “I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a manner where they appeared both relaxed and approachable, as well as elegant and dignified.
“As it is the first portrait to depict them together, and specifically during their time as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a feeling of balance between their public and private lives. The piece was commissioned as a gift for the people of Cambridgeshire, and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.”
The palace also says the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund will continue to work with the Fitzwilliam Museum to make sure the portrait is used as a tool to generate interest in art among children, regardless of their background.