Mario Testino’s photos of Kate and William at Princess Charlotte’s christening come with a health warning
What do we think of Mario Testino’s photos of Kate and William in his Princess Charlotte’s christening portrait? Get a load of those big smiles. It’s typical celebrity stuff.
But Jonthan Jones can’t stand it:
After all, they have plenty to smile about – the free houses, the free money, the free adulation, the fact there’s no chance of their kids ever having to worry about student loans, tax credits or the minimum wage.
But like his bosses at the Guardian, then.
All smiles all the way. But Testino, the world’s most horrible flatterer of wealth and status, makes every smile look phoney. He makes reality itself seem a glib and cynical charade.
He’s not all that keen.
Their faces lit up by hysterical joy, their hair wispy in the sun, their teeth shining like diamond walls of privilege, and their eyes betraying no signs of thought whatsoever… Their children are so glossily celebrated that they look like fashion accessories, hired for the day.
It’s all famailiar family portrait stuff.
But Jones has a gift. He can read a child’s mind:
George, you can tell, is bored and hating this. He gives away the fact that, far from casually encountering Testino’s lens, the royalist antidotes to King Charles are in fact enduring the torture of a prolonged pose.
Josh Duboff is impressed:
Charlotte looks . . . slightly less than interested, and George looks like he is about to burst into tears, but, you know, all things taken into account: pretty good showing on both of their parts, circumstances considered. And everyone else looks great! Kate’s glowing; all five hats on display are really popping; James looks like he just thought of a joke to whisper in Pippa’s ear.
“Photographing Princess Charlotte’s christening was an amazing experience. What impressed me the most was the energy of the family, and of that between the Duke and Duchess. One sees how solid they are together and one gets a sense of their strong family values.
“It was incredible to be able to document four generations of the British Royal Family together – the monarch and three heirs to the throne – and very heartwarming to see the close relationship between them all.
“I am overwhelmed and honoured to be chosen to document this occasion and to carry on the documentation of the family that is the soul of this country, a country that has given me so much.”