Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to celebrate 10 years of Duke and Duchess

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to mark the 10th anniversary of the Duke and Duchess – Jamie Coreth/Fine Art Commissions

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have posed for their first official joint portrait, winking at the Queen and Princess Diana in a vision intended to “balance their public and private lives”.

Described by the artists as ‘relaxed and approachable’ and ‘elegant and dignified’, the painting is intended to celebrate the couple’s ties to Cambridgeshire and was commissioned to mark their 10th wedding anniversary.

The Duke and Duchess invited British artist Jamie Coreth to Kensington Palace for several live sessions, with the Duchess choosing jewelery in honor of the Royal Family.

The portrait was commissioned by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund as a gift to the county in 2021, the year the couple celebrated their tenth anniversary and their Cambridge titles.

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to mark the 10th anniversary of the Duke and Duchess - Jamie Coreth/Fine Art Commissions

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to mark the 10th anniversary of the Duke and Duchess – Jamie Coreth/Fine Art Commissions

The Duke and Duchess helped choose the artist, and the Duchess is believed to have seen his work at the National Portrait Gallery, where he won the Young Artist Award at the prestigious BP Portrait Exhibition.

They will view the completed work today at the Fitzwilliam Museum, as part of a day trip in Cambridgeshire.

‘The most special privilege of my life’

Coreth said of the commission: “It was the most extraordinary privilege of my life to be chosen to paint this painting.

“I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a way that made them come across as relaxed and approachable as well as elegant and dignified.

“As this is the first portrait to show them together, and especially during their time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I wanted the image to evoke a sense of balance between their public and private lives.

“The piece was commissioned as a gift to the people of Cambridgeshire, and I hope they will enjoy it as much as I had in making it.”

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to celebrate 10 years as Duke and Duchess - Joe Giddens /PA

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to celebrate 10 years as Duke and Duchess – Joe Giddens /PA

The Duchess was painted in a bright green Vampire’s Wife dress she previously wore on a visit to Ireland, with a Queen’s brooch and earrings that once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Dressed in a fine suit and blue tie, the Duke both follow instructions to pose, looking to the artist’s right with their faces turned to the light.

They attended joint meetings twice and each made time for another solo session to help the artist capture the necessary details.

It is the couple’s first joint portrait. They each posed separately for other portraits over a decade ago.

The Duchess sat in front of Paul Emsley in 2012 for a painting that received mixed reviews.

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to mark 10 years of Duke and Duchess - Paul Grover /Paul Grover

Cambridges unveil their first official portrait to mark 10 years of Duke and Duchess – Paul Grover /Paul Grover

Prince William had a joint portrait with Prince Harry in 2009 by Nicky Philipps, and a portrait of the Royal Family in 2000 with the Queen, Prince Philip, Queen Mother, Prince Charles and Prince Harry, by John Wannacott.

A source said the couple were “excited” to make this their first official joint portrait to mark the tenth anniversary of their association with Cambridge, bearing their Duke and Duchess’ titles before their wedding day.

The city of Cambridge is represented in the background of the painting, showing “the tones and colors of many of the historic stone buildings synonymous with the city”.

The portrait also features a hexagonal architectural motif that can be seen on buildings in Cambridge.

The portrait will be on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge for three years, after which it will be taken on a tour of common areas and galleries in Cambridgeshire.

It will be loaned to the National Portrait Gallery, the Duchess’ patronage, in 2023 for the gallery’s reopening.

It is also expected to be used as part of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s youth engagement programs to encourage young people of all backgrounds to experience the arts.

Later today, the Duke and Duchess will reunite with Jamie Coreth to view the painting and meet supporters of the project, including Lady Sibyl Marshall, wife of the late Sir Michael Marshall who originally suggested the idea.

A graduate of Oxford University and the Florence Academy of Art, Coreth won the 2016 Young Artist Award at the BP Portrait Exhibition for “Dad Sculpting Me”.

In 2020, his “Portrait of Fatima” was nominated for the BP Portrait Award and later won the Visitors’ Choice award.

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