Kate Middleton Calls First Official Portrait "Absolutely Brilliant" at Unveiling

Celebrity News Jan. 11, 2013 AT 11:00AM
Kate Middleton Kate Middleton Credit: Sang Tan/AP

Kate Middleton had a certain glow about her Friday morning.

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge attended the unveiling of her first official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery on Jan. 11, accompanied by husband Prince William and her family -- parents Carole and Michael and siblings James and Pippa.

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"I thought it was brilliant… Amazing… Absolutely brilliant," she told curators of the portrait, created by Glasgow-born, South African-raised artist Paul Emsley.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton
Credit: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty

The beaming Duchess wore a burgundy Whistles dress that only revealed the slightest hint of her baby bump.

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Middleton, 31, and William, 30, spent 10 minutes privately observing the painting before joining Emsley and his wife and daughter for a breakfast reception at the gallery.

"It's just amazing, I thought it was brilliant," William said, according to the UK's Telegraph.

Artist Paul Emsley, Kate Middleton, and Prince William
Artist Paul Emsley, Kate Middleton, and Prince William
Credit: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty

Emsley, who has previously painted Nelson Mandela, explained that he took a few artistic liberties with the portrait.

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"I altered the color of the eyes slightly to match the color of the blouse," he said in a video about the making of the portrait. "I'm interested in the landscape of the face … anything else in there is really just an interference."

The portrait is currently displayed beside a Sam Taylor-Wood photo of a nearly-naked, sleeping David Beckham, which will soon be moved to another part of the exhibit space.

The outing marks the Duchess' first official public appearance since handing out awards at a top British sports awards show in December.

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