The first official painted portrait of Duchess Kate Middleton has been released.  It's a far cry from her topless photos, leaked by the press last September.  Kate calls the painting, commissioned by Britain’s National Portrait Gallery, “absolutely brilliant.”

Paul Emsley/Britain’s National Portrait Gallery

Scottish-born Paul Emsley is the artist behind the painting that was unveiled today.  He  says 'the Duchess wanted to be portrayed naturally, as opposed to her official self. After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice have her smiling — that is really who she is.'

The Dutchess met with the painter to talk about how she wanted the portrait to look before two sittings at the artists studio last May and June.

Watch video of Emsley creating the painting, produced by the National Portrait Gallery

What do you think of the new portrait?  Does it capture the real Kate Middleton?

Source: NBC, Prince of Whales, National Portrait Gallery