Kensington Palace released three new portrait photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton on Sunday to mark her 40th birthday. The photos, taken by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery. The future queen consort is wearing custom-made off-the-shoulder white gowns below her luscious long hair has caused internet sensation, comparing the photo with a similar portrait of Princess Margaret on her 19th birthday in 1949. However, the most stunningly similar portrait was done about 150 years ago, the portrait of the Empress of Austria, Sisi.
Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, was depicted by Austrian painter Ludwig Minnigerode. A copy of the portrait was presented to Queen Victoria by the Emperor Francis Joseph at Christmas, 1874 after she had requested a copy to mark the Empress’ visit. Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter met the Empress in Vienna in 1862 and noted “her beauty though not regular is surpassing – I never saw anything so dazzling or piquant. Her features are not so good as they are represented on most of her pictures – but the ensemble is far more lovely than any reproduction can convey an idea of … most extraordinary quantity of chestnut hair I ever saw, perfect loads of it.”