New Royal Exhibition Displays Poignant Portrait of Kate Middleton

World royals New Royal Exhibition Displays Poignant Portrait of Kate Middleton May 18, 2024 12:47 PM EDT

After much anticipation, the Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography exhibition opened at the King’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace on Friday, May 17. The curated collection features previously unseen portraits of the royal family, alongside celebrated images that fans may be more familiar with.

Exhibition curator Alessandro Nasini has selected portraits by esteemed artists including Cecil Beaton, David Bailey, Annie Leibovitz, and Andy Warhol.

The exhibition features a poignant portrait of Kate Middleton, captured by Paolo Roversi and originally shared ahead of the royal’s 40th birthday in 2022. The ethereal black-and-white image sees Middleton displaying her side profile in a white, off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown. The accessories are kept to a minimum, with pearl-drop earrings and her blue sapphire, diamond encrusted engagement ring that famously once belonged to Princess Diana. Middleton adopts a royal-favorite pose, remaining seated and staring into the distance.

When the image was initially released in 2022, alongside two other portraits in honor of Middleton’s birthday, it entered a collection belonging to London’s National Portrait Gallery, of which she is a patron.

A photograph of Kate Middleton, captured by Paolo Roversi, is on display across from a 1864 painting of Alexandria, then-Princess of Wales, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Carl Court—Getty Images Delighted to share a new portrait of The Duchess ahead of her 40th birthday tomorrow.

This is one of three new portraits which will enter the permanent collection of the @NPGLondon, of which The Duchess is Patron.

📸 Paolo Roversi

— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) January 8, 2022

The portrait of Middleton has often been compared to one painted over 150 years ago of Queen Alexandra, then the Princess of Wales. Captured by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the painting shows Alexandra of Denmark in a billowing white gown with crystal blue adornments. Wearing a floral headdress, the royal is standing, but turned to the side ever so slightly.

The exhibition featuring Middleton comes as she continues to take time away from public-facing duties following her cancer diagnosis. In a video shared on March 22, the mum-of-three revealed she had started a course of “preventative chemotherapy” after being diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer following a planned abdominal surgery in January. During a recent royal engagement, Prince William said that his wife is “doing well” when asked by a concerned member of the public.

A photograph of King Charles, taken when he was the Prince of Wales, is on display. Captured by Nadav Kander, the image was commissioned by TIME magazine for a cover story in 2013. Henry Nicholls—Getty Images As for the royal exhibition, which is set to remain open on select days until Oct. 6, other notable images include a vibrant portrait, featuring bleached out details, of Queen Elizabeth II by Warhol. There is also a striking photograph of King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, taken at Birkhall, his private residence in Scotland. Captured by Nadav Kander, the image was commissioned by TIME for the cover of its Nov. 4, 2013, magazine.

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