The Royal Photographic Society today announced that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, will be receiving an honorary lifetime membership. She will likely become the first person to receive the accolade without having won one of the society's awards. Question marks have been raised as to whether the amateur photographer's work is deemed worthy of such an honor.
The society, established in 1853, is internationally respected and its awards are highly sought after in the photographic community. Many of the most reputable photographers worldwide have become winners of their awards. But the news that RPS will provide the future Queen of England with a $150-per-year-saving for membership has not gone down well on social media.
A fair chunk of critics will be anti-royalists, but from an objective perspective of her work, it's hard to argue with such comments as, "@The_RPS Jesus you are kidding. To think of the many talented photographers who will have failed at even LRPS and you reward family snaps?" from @Stoneysnaps.
Whilst it is a worthy news piece the future Queen has taken up photography, for such a well regarded society to be celebrating The Duchess' work has made the RPS vulnerable to intense criticism. The official first pictures of Princess Charlotte are adorable for sure, but even Kate Middleton herself must see this as a publicity stunt from the RPS.
Whilst there has been an influx in celebrities gaining an unreasonable amount of exposure (Brooklyn Beckham we're looking at you), we look toward photography communities and societies to preserve the integrity of the judging of photographic expertise. Sadly, the RPS has suffered a serious lack of judgment in this case.