Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge's first official portrait has been unveiled to, ahem, somewhat mixed reviews.

Although artist Paul Emsley said was keen to convey "her warmth and smile", social media users have claimed the painting makes her look cross-eyed and much older than her years, not doing justice to her natural beauty.

kate

The official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge, by Paul Emsley

The misty creation possesses a glancing resemblance to the much-loved Duchess, but for many, that's all it does.

On Twitter, fans of the pretty Duchess have called for Kate to "flog the artist at dawn" or shout "off-with-their heads" or demand some equally antiquated royal punishment poste-haste.


Andrew Coyne
In a more enlightened age, whoever did that execrable painting of Kate Middleton would be publicly flogged.


William Schafer
The new portrait of Kate. This is a terrible picture. They aught to send the painter to the tower and the block.

The painting has been compared with a Twilight posters (by people who hate Twilight) to the ugly old painting from Ghostbusters, and by Sunday Times interviewer Camilla Long as 'a before and after picture', with Long jibing she couldn't decide which it was.

ghostbusters

Terrifying: the ghostbusters photoshop circulating on social media


Jack Seale
Kate Middleton's nose is following me round the room.

It was only a matter of time before the internet got to work, with some saying the old Spanish woman responsible for "restoring" a Spanish fresco (and making Jesus look like a monkey) had also painted Kate.

quebec tango

It's the way the eyes follow you around the room...


Gareth Bale
its looks like mrs doubtfire but a kate middleton version

Others claimed they could improve the painting themselves .

colgan
an artist's impression of an artist's impression: by Jenny Colgan

Some Twitter users thought more sinister forces were at work, and not the Dorian Grey kind. These conspiratorial social media users suggested that perhaps the painter had an anti-royalist agenda, and one even tentatively forwarded that the Queen had purposely sabotaged the portrait.


Ted
Kate Middleton's portrait is clearly a conspiracy perpetrated by the royal family to make her look less incredible.


Abi Silvester
Incredible isn't it? Ages her by about 20 years and looks a little evil. Did the queen tell them to make it ugly?


newsparrot
The Queens show Kate whose boss.Thats a slap in the face not a portrait.Such a cruel family.

Kate has described the picture as "amazing" and William also had high praise for the painting, saying: "It's beautiful, it's absolutely beautiful." So that's all that matters really.

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  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    Paul Emsley by his new portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the National Portrait Gallery in London today after viewing a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of the Duchess, during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge after viewing a new portrait by Paul Emsley of herself at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    Paul Emsley by his new portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge after viewing a new portrait by Paul Emsley of herself at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of the Duchess, during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge talks to artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of her during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge talks to artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of her during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the National Portrait Gallery in London today to view a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge after viewing a new portrait by Paul Emsley of herself at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the National Portrait Gallery in London today to view a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the National Portrait Gallery in London today after viewing a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the National Portrait Gallery in London today after viewing a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge after viewing a new portrait by Paul Emsley of herself at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of the Duchess during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    British artist Paul Emsley poses in front of his portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    British artist Paul Emsley poses in front of his portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen speaking to artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    British artist Paul Emsley poses in front of his portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets artist Paul Emsley as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge looks on after viewing his new portrait of the Duchess during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen after viewing artist Paul Emsley's new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the National Portrait Gallery in London today to view a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the National Portrait Gallery in London today after viewing a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • Duchess of Cambridge portrait unveiled

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the National Portrait Gallery in London today to view a newly commissioned portrait of the Duchess by Paul Emsley.

  • BRITAIN-ROYALS-ART

    Media representatives gather in front of British artist Paul Emsley's portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-ROYALS-ART

    Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge looks on after viewing a new portrait of her by British artist Paul Emsley at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/POOL/John Stillwell (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen after viewing artist Paul Emsley's new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen after viewing artist Paul Emsley's new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen after viewing artist Paul Emsley's new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-ROYALS-ART

    Media representatives gather in front of British artist Paul Emsley's portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    British artist Paul Emsley poses in front of his portrait of Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge after its unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 11, 2013. This is the first official portrait of the Duchess and was completed after two sittings at the artist's studio and Kensington Palace. AFP PHOTO/Leon NEAL - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION - (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Portrait By Paul Emsley Is Unveiled At The National Portrait Gallery

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen speaking to artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)