The Tower Awaits!

You Can Say That Again! Kate Portrait 'Doesn't Photograph Well'

You can say that again, pal!

The artist who painted the much-mocked first official portrait of Kate Middleton has defended his work, saying that one of the reasons it has received so much abuse is because it doesn't photograph well.

Paul Emsley told Hello magazine: "At first the attacks were so vicious that there was a point where I myself doubted that the portrait of the Duchess was any good. But now I've had time to reflect, I am still happy with it and am getting on with my life. There is nothing I would have changed…I believe half the problem is the portrait doesn't photograph well and I would encourage people to go and see it [at the National Portrait Gallery]."

The portrait sparked a rash of internet memes mocking the picture by blending it with images such as 'The Scream'. Many said it made Kate look much older and less attractive than she is in real life.

Emsley says: "It felt like a bit of a witch hunt and people who have not even seen my portrait joined in with what quickly became a circus. The worst thing is it was not only destructive to me, but particularly upsetting for my two daughters and my wife. When you take on commissions like this it is hazardous and you expect a bit of flak, but I expected nothing like the criticism I have received. I didn't expect it to go to the levels it did."