Duchess Kate portrait a gift from Macleay Island artist

MACLEAY Island artist David Wells has brought a royal flare to the Redlands with his portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, which Prince William and the duchess will take home with them after their Australian visit this month.

David said he completed the portrait recently, and, with the help of fellow island resident Gerard Thompson, offered it to Kensington Palace as a gift from himself and the island to the royal couple.

A spokesman from Protocol Queensland said protocol staff had been liaising with Gerard, on David's behalf, and protocol officials at Kensington Palace and were advised that the duke and duchess would not personally accept gifts during their visit, but the portrait would be appreciated.

He said Protocol Queensland staff would accept the gift from David and deliver it to the aircraft before William and Catherine left Brisbane next week.

David, who also recently won the prestigious Pastel 100 pastel portrait art prize, said he was pleased, but surprised, his gift had been accepted.

"I'm not sure how it feels yet," he said.

"I don't think I've had enough time to take it in."

David said the portrait took about 300 hours to paint, plus months of work in choosing the right photo "from literally millions on the internet" and finding the photographer to seek their permission to use it.

"The project began long before we knew about a royal visit, and I would never have come up with this idea without Gerard's input," David said.

"It was his idea."

Gerard, who has made a documentary about the painting as it progressed, said David's portrait was "a wonderful compliment" to the duchess.

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