03/12/2012

Kate's portrait would complete her royal checklist

William harry portrait 

Nicky Philipps unveiled this portrait of princes Harry and William in 2010. It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

It’s hard to believe that it has almost been a year since the royal wedding.

Kate 1But is Kate still Kate? Or has the Duchess of Cambridge emerged in her place?

Time for the checklist of signs that she has become, truly, a royal.

-- Undertaken a major foreign tour with her husband to Canada

-- Toured with the Queen

-- Selected the charities she will support

-- Celebrated Christmas at Sandringham

-- Handled her first solo royal engagements

-- Will be making her first public speech next week

- Started re-furbishing an apartment at Kensington Palace

-- Bought a dog (not a corgi, but cocker's close enough)

What’s left?

Well, not much. But there’s that spot over the fireplace that could still use a painting … say, a portrait.

No self-respecting blueblood (or near blueblood) can do without one.

PhilippsPrince Charles has spotted this hole in his daughter-in-law’s royal resume and is apparently filling it with a commission to artist Nicky Philipps, 48, (right) who had done a portrait of his sons (above) in 2010 that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

The Telegraph reports that the Prince of Wales plans on having the portrait done as a 30th birthday present for William on June 21 (so much for the surprise).

Kate has been spotted leaving Philipps’ studio in south Kensington, but the artist isn’t confirming anything. She did, however, say it would be an honour.

“Of course I’d love to,” she told the Evening Standard. “It’s every artist’s dream to paint her right now and it would be enormous fun.”

Sergei PavlenkoLast year, Philipps talked about the challenge of painting “beautiful people” such as Kate. They are “always more difficult. With symmetrical faces, there’s nothing to hang the portrait on. It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever do them enough justice.”

Her portrait of William and Harry -- in Clarence House wearing their Household Cavalry uniforms -- is the only one with the brothers by themselves.

Previously, they were part of a Sergei Pavlenko painting (right) that showed the Royal Family at Sandhurst Military Academy on the occasion of the Harry being commissioned into the British Army in 2006.

Pavlenko has done extensive work with the royals, including a 2000 ceremonial portrait of the Queen (below) that is said to be her favourite.

 

Sergei-Pavlenko queen

Queen by lucien freudOf course, there is always the chance that, in the hands of an artist seeking some abstract version of royalty, a royal portrait can take a very unroyal turn. 

There are plenty of examples of that, especially with the Queen, who has had to sit still dozens of times over the years while painters probe her soul with a paintbrush.

Sometimes, the painting is more a reflection of the artist's angst than it is of the subject herself. Perhaps the most talked about example of Queen-art is the 2001 portrait done by Lucian Freud (right). As with most art, some some genius, some saw garbage. Take your pick.

 

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