All important members of the British Royal Family have had their Royal Portrait painted at some point or another. Kate Middleton had her image created recently, and the Duchess of Cambridge even stepped out on Friday along with her hubby, Prince William, and other members of the family to take a look at the new portrait.

Called HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, the painting was created by Paul Emsley, an artist who has in the past created a portrait of Nelson Mandela, among others. Upon seeing the Scottish born, South African raised artist’s work, Middleton decidedly noted she believed it to be “brilliant.” However, many critics are disagreeing wholeheartedly with her analysis. Take a look at the image below, and decide for yourself.

Time has put together a pretty interesting list of a few of the critiques, written on the U.S. side of the pond as well as in Britain, which use words like “rotten” and pedestrian to describe the image. While I’m personally of the opinion that Middleton’s hair has a lot of depth in the portrait, something about the coloring and shadows within her face look too old and far more stern than her usual demeanor. I’d hardly call it rotten—that’s undeserving of the artist, his technique, and the way he envisions Middleton, but it’s easy to see why people are similarly jolted when they first see the image.

The portrait took months to complete, and the Duchess of Cambridge sat for the artist twice. Additionally, it was Middleton who was actively involved in choosing Emsley, so she likely knew what type of portrait she was getting into; and honestly, it’s her portrait, so as long as she’s happy with the way she comes across in the image, it doesn’t really matter what the critics think. The artist gets paid, either way.

Photo [email protected] Portrait Gallery via Reuters

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