Kate Middleton and Baby Bump Celebrate Duchess’ First Official Portrait (PHOTOS)

By: / January 11, 2013

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In her first public appearance of the year, Kate Middleton celebrated herself.

On early Friday morning, the pregnant Duchess and her husband Prince William made their way to London’s National Portrait Gallery, where the first official portrait of Middleton was unveiled in a private gathering.

According to The Daily Mail, Middleton’s family — including parents Carole, Michael and siblings Pippa and James — were also present during the unveiling, as was artist Paul Emsley, who painted the work of art in three months after the Duchess’ two sittings last summer.

“I thought it was brilliant . . . it’s just amazing. Absolutely brilliant,” the Duchess, who wore a gorgeous burgundy dress, said at the event.

The Duke, 30, echoed his wife’s reaction, reportedly telling the artist the portrait was “beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.”

“I was always aware of the fact that we would use the hair very much as a kind of frame for the face, and not too much jewelry apart from the earring, to try to create something of her natural warmth, her natural serenity without too much busyness in the portrait,” Emsley told PEOPLE.

Earlier this week, Middleton celebrated her 31st birthday with her nearest and dearest at a London showing of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza.

What do you think of Kate Middleton’s official portrait? Check out the gallery, above, of the Duchess attending Friday’s unveiling and weigh in below.

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