Cover story: Tatler unveils new portrait of Princess of Wales

<span>The portrait depicts the princess at a banquet on the state visit to South Africa in 2022. </span><span>Photograph: Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA</span>
The portrait depicts the princess at a banquet on the state visit to South Africa in 2022. Photograph: Hannah Uzor/Tatler/PA

A new portrait of the Princess of Wales has been unveiled on Tatler’s July cover, with the artist behind it saying the painting was influenced by Catherine’s video about her cancer diagnosis.

The painting, by the British-Zambian artist Hannah Uzor, depicts Kate at the first state banquet of King Charles III’s reign during the South Africa state visit in 2022.

Kate did not sit for the artwork. Instead, Uzor used different photographs to make the painting, which was referred to as “a portrait of strength and dignity” by Tatler.

In it, Kate stands regal and composed, wearing a caped white Jenny Packham floor-length evening dress and her go-to tiara, Lover’s Knot.

Uzor told Tatler the green-blue background was a nod to Kate’s eye colour and to the experience of being in a garden and on water, reflecting the princess’s love of rowing.

Discussing whether the princess’s video gave her a new perspective, Uzor said: “Without a doubt. All my portraits are made up of layers of a personality, constructed from everything I can find about them.”

The artist expressed her admiration for Kate, who has stepped away from the public spotlight while she undergoes chemotherapy treatment. “She has really risen up to her role – she was born for this,” Uzor said. “She carries herself with such dignity, elegance and grace.”

Uzor, who is based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, added: “‘I sense with her the joy of motherhood.”

However, some royal fans questioned the artwork’s likeness to the princess. “Doesn’t look like Catherine at all. If she wasn’t wearing that dress I’d have no clue as to who it’s meant to be,” one individual wrote on X.

Another said: “Sorry, as much as I love that you have the Princess of Wales on the cover, that looks nothing like her.”

Uzor is the third artist to paint a portrait of a member of the royal family for Tatler. Sarah Knights’ painting of the king appeared on the magazine’s July 2023 cover, and Oluwole Omofemi’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II appeared on its platinum jubilee issue in 2022.

The portrait comes shortly after the unveiling of the first official portrait of the king to be completed since his coronation, by Jonathan Yeo, which shows the monarch bathed in a dramatic blood-red hue.

It was described by some commentators as like a poster for a horror movie. But it was widely acknowledged as a good likeness of the king, with Yeo saying Queen Camilla remarked after looking at the painting of her husband: “Yes. You’ve got him.”