AP - AP Clients Only

London - Jan 11

1. Tight of Kate

2. Wide of portrait

3. SOUNDBITE: Paul Emsley/Artist(Transcript Below)

4. Wide of Will and Kate

5. SOUNDBITE: Paul Emsley/Artist (Transcript Below)

6. Various of portrait


We're getting a new look at Kate Middleton - and the reviews won't make her smile.

The first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge, as she's now known, was unveiled friday in London.

The oil painting shows the 31-year-old royal against a dark background with her lips pursed into a wry smile.

SOT Paul Emsley, artist:

"When I worked with the portrait I push it beyond realism and so I always had faith that I would go beyond that and find something original and I think the fact that we've got a half smile or we've got a smile with a closed mouth does make it slightly unique in that sense so yeah."

Kate and Prince William, who are expecting their first child, were on hand at the gallery for the portrait's unveiling.

They called the work amazing and absolutely beautiful.

Paul Emsley, artist:

"They do seem to like the portrait very much and her family does too which is always a good test I think."

Critics, though, are seeing it in a different less flattering light, with some calling it a dull, lifeless, disappointing work that fails to capture her beauty or charisma.

______/Associated Press

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