Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed for their first official portrait together, which included nods to the Queen and Princess Diana in a vision meant to balance “their public and private lives.”
Described by the artists as “laid and approachable” and “elegant and dignified”, the painting is meant to celebrate the couple’s ties to Cambridgeshire and was commissioned during their 10th birthday. wedding anniversary.
The Duke and Duchess invited British artist Jamie Coret to Kensington Palace for a number of live meetings, with the Duchess choosing jewelery inspired by the royal family.
The portrait was commissioned by the Royal Portrait Trust for Cambridgeshire as a gift to the county in 2021 as the couple celebrated a decade of marriage and their Cambridge titles.
The Duke and Duchess helped select the artist, and the Duchess is believed to have seen his work at the National Portrait Gallery, where he won the Young Artist Award at the prestigious BP Portrait Exhibition.
Today they will see the finished work at the Fitzwilliam Museum as part of an outing day in Cambridgeshire.
“The Most Exceptional Privilege of My Life”
Koret said of the commission: “It was the most extraordinary privilege of my life to be chosen to paint this picture.
“I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a way that makes them look relaxed and open, as well as elegant and dignified.
“Because this is the first portrait they have been shown together, especially during their time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a sense of balance between their public and private lives.
“This work was commissioned as a gift for the people of Cambridgeshire and I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”
The Duchess was shown wearing the bright green Vampire’s Wife dress she had previously worn on a visit to Ireland, with a brooch that belonged to the Queen and earrings that once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Duke is dressed in an elegant suit and blue tie, and both are instructed to pose, looking to the painter’s right, with their faces turned towards the light.
They attended two sessions together, and each found time for another solo session to help the artist capture the necessary details.
This is the first joint portrait of the couple. Each of them posed for other portraits individually over a decade ago.
The Duchess posed for Paul Emsley in 2012. for a painting that received mixed reviews.
Prince William had a joint portrait with Prince Harry in 2009 by Nicky Philipps and a portrait of the royal family in 2000 with the Queen, Prince Philip, the Queen Mother, Prince Charles and Prince Harry by John Wannacott.
The source said the couple were “aspiring” to have this their first official portrait together, to mark the tenth anniversary of their connection to Cambridge, when their titles of duke and duchess were given on their wedding day.
The city of Cambridge is featured in the background of the painting, with “the tones and colors of the many historic stone buildings that are synonymous with the city”.
The portrait also features the hexagonal architectural motif seen on buildings in Cambridge.
The portrait will be exhibited at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge for three years, after which it will be sent on a tour of public spaces and galleries in Cambridgeshire.
It will be loaned to the National Portrait Gallery under the patronage of the Duchess in 2023 to open the gallery.
It is also expected to be used as part of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s youth engagement programs to encourage young people from all walks of life to experience the arts.
Later today, the Duke and Duchess will be reunited with Jamie Coret to view the painting and meet with the project’s supporters, including Lady Sybil Marshall, wife of the late Sir Michael Marshall, who originally proposed the idea.
Koret, a graduate of the University of Oxford and the Florence Academy of Art, won the 2016 Young Artist Award at the BP Portrait Exhibition for his work “Dad Sculpting Me”.
In 2020, his “Portrait of Fatima” was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award and later won the People’s Choice Award.