Why Some Royal Fans Are Fuming After The Release Of Kate Middleton's 40th Birthday Photos

There's no denying that Kate Middleton's newest portraits, released in honor of her fortieth birthday on January 9, 2022 via Instagram, are beautiful (via The New York Times). Let's start with the fact that she's a beautiful woman! Portraits of the princess with or without her family are always widely praised, like the Cambridges' holiday 2021 photo, which showed a more down-to-earth side of the royal fivesome (via Cosmopolitan). 

But some fans are saying the most recent images of Middleton are too beautiful — and probably a tad fake. As My London reports, royal watchers have taken en masse to social media to opine that the Duchess of Cambridge looks airbrushed in the official birthday photos, which will be part of the National Portrait Gallery's Coming Home exhibition, and were taken by Paolo Roversi (via Instagram).

Likewise, the Daily Star reports some of Middleton's admirers feel let down that she appears so glammed up in the portraits, alleging she has gone "too Hollywood" for their taste. It seems people like the mom of three just as she is and are not enjoying the dolled-up, super-glam version of their beloved, normally-approachable royal.

Many royal fans are not so thrilled with Kate Middleton's portraits

A quick search on Twitter reveals that many users are not fans of Middleton's new birthday portraits, with one person calling the official images "airbrushed caricatures" of the princess people know and adore. Someone else opined that the shots were "airbrushed beyond recognition." Meanwhile, another Twitter user joked about the fake-looking images, "Girl you should have escaped from that Royal family too!"

More folks who felt the birthday portraits of Middleton did not exactly capture the true her could be found voicing their opinions on Twitter, with one person commenting in part, "Lovely photos, but honestly they are so airbrushed she doesn't look natural."

Another royal fan commented about the 40-year-old, "She is a beautiful woman already. These photos do not look like her. They are airbrushed and I have seen much better. Sorry! The poses are lovely but it's not Kate." "They are not a good natural likeness of Kate and I think the photographer could have done a lot better job with these," opined another non-fan of the birthday images on Twitter.

Others were just plain unimpressed, with one person commenting, "Someone is trying too hard to present her as extraordinary." And some folks? Well, they were downright mad. "The airbrushed Kate is a counterfeit!" fumed one individual. Meanwhile, countless tweets noted that the images failed to capture the royal in a way that felt authentic.

Plenty of people love Kate Middleton's birthday portraits

To be fair, Middleton's fortieth birthday portraits satisfied just as many royal fans as they inflamed, with those in favor calling them "sublime," "timeless," "dreamy" and "stunning" among many other complimentary takes.

Journalist Hazel Gaynor tweeted, "Can't stop looking at these stunning photos of Kate for her 40th birthday. Such elegance and beauty and...pockets!" She even likened one shot to a young Queen Victoria." So many other tweets called out the Alexander McQueen look for the use of pockets (via Newsweek). Of course, as Middleton fans know, she has long worn and loved the designer. Many other social media comments centered around how much the portraits reminded them of past royals, but as one person said about the images, they are "really modernizing the Royal portrait but keeping it traditional too...so cool!"

Middleton supporters kept counterbalancing criticism. "As soon as she faces the camera and smiles, her whole beautiful spirit shines through. Classy, regal, beautiful," another Twitter user opined.

Some people point out a seeming double standard

Meanwhile, lending credence to the notion that everyone has an opinion on all aspects of royal life, it seems another controversy was born out of Middleton's birthday portraits. Many people couldn't help but point out that she was photographed wearing a one-shoulder gown, something that Meghan Markle was ruthlessly criticized for in 2018, according to Fox News. In fact, the look was deemed "inappropriate," which the Duchess of Sussex's supporters felt is a double standard not applied to Middleton in these new images.

"I'm just sad that Meghan was so harshly judged by her one shoulder dress but Kate is celebrated for it. So it takes away from this moment for me," one person tweeted. "Oh, is that Kate Middleton wear a vulgar off the shoulder dress? And there's me thinking only Meghan broke royal protocol like that!" another Twitter user said, while someone else observed, "very interesting... kate wears an off the shoulder dress and she's 'regal and radiant' and being displayed in national galleries but when meghan does it she gets dragged online and by the media."