AN OAKLEY artist’s portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge has received a Royal seal of approval.

Barry Salter, of Caithness Close, started the painting last year after critics panned the official portrait by artist Paul Emsley.

The 71-year-old completed his work, which shows Kate smiling, in 10 hours and submitted a copy to St James’ Palace, the couple’s official London residence.

To his surprise, he received a reply from William and Kate’s office, which stated that the Duchess was “most grateful” and wanted to send her “warmest thanks”.

The painting, which has been hanging on the wall of The Old Boot Inn, a pub close to the family home of the Duchess, near Bucklebury, is now back with Mr Salter, who said he was pleased with the letter.

He added: “When I saw the official portrait, I turned to my wife and I said, ‘I need to show them how it is done’.

“Everybody has liked the painting in the pub and one woman is interested in auctioning it off for charity.”

Mr Salter runs BSA Creations, a firm of artists and illustrators based in Andover, and will have some of his work on display at this year’s Henley Regatta.