Hidden details in Kate Middleton’s first portrait of Prince William

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed together for their first official portrait.
  • It was painted by Jamie Coreth as a gift to the people of Cambridge.
  • The portrait contains several hidden references to Cambridge, as well as the couple’s royal titles.

The first official portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was released on Thursday.

Kate Middleton and Prince William were painted by British artist Jamie Coreth as a gift to the people of Cambridgeshire, where they bear their title, according to a Kensington Palace press release.

The portrait shows the couple in formal attire at an undisclosed location. Prince William wore a suit and tie and Middleton wore a glittering £1,595 or $2,000 The Vampire’s Wife gown, which she previously wore during a royal tour of Ireland in March 2020.

A portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge painted by Jamie Coreth.

Jamie Coreth/Arts Commissions


There are many references in the portrait that may not be apparent at first glance, including homages to Cambridge, England, and the couple’s public and private lives. Here are all the hidden details you might have missed.

Middleton wore a brooch in honor of her title as Duchess of Cambridge

Middleton was accessorized with a pearl and diamond brooch, dubbed the Duchess of Cambridge’s brooch after her own title. The brooch was designed by British jeweler Gerard for Princess Augusta, who according to a Gerard representative held the title of Duchess of Cambridge until 1889.

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel in 1820.

Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel in 1820.

Hulton Archives/Getty Images


According to The Independent, Augusta was born in Germany in 1797 and was created Duchess of Cambridge after her marriage to Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge in 1818 at Buckingham Palace.

After her death, the brooch was passed down through the royal family. Queen Elizabeth has been photographed wearing it multiple times, reports The Independent.

William and Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they married in 2011.

The portrait shows the balance between her public and private life

Although William and Middleton wore formal attire for the portrait, their pose could be considered informal. They stand with their arms around each other and both look to the side rather than directly at the artist.

Coreth said he wanted to convey the couple as “both relaxed and approachable,” showing a balance between their public and private lives.

“I wanted to show Their Royal Highnesses in a way that made them look relaxed and approachable as well as elegant and dignified,” Coreth said in a statement shared in the press release.

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

The Duchess channels Carrie Bradshaw with her shoes

For her shoes, Middleton chose Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi Green Satin 105 pumps, the same heels worn by Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw in the 2008 film Sex and the City, reports People.

carrie bradshaw shoes, duchess of cambridge

Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahnik shoes, left, and the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing the shoes in green, right.

Manolo Blahnik, Jamie Coreth/Art Commissions


It is unknown if Middleton is a fan of the TV series or the films. But the shoes have long been associated with “Sex and the City,” ever since Carrie wore the blue version of the heels to her proposal and wedding to Mr. Big. She wore the shoes again during an episode of the reboot series And Just Like That, which aired earlier this year.

The background tones represent Cambridgeshire

The artist incorporated Cambridge into the portrait by painting the background with the same tones and colors as many of the historic buildings the city is known for, the press release said.

The portrait will be on view in person at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum for an initial period of three years, according to the press release, after which it will be shown in other galleries and community spaces around Cambridgeshire.

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