Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“Easygoing” Kate Middleton is camera shy and “surprisingly lacking in vanity”, says former fashion editor

Kate Middleton 2.jpg

She’s someone who lives her life in the glare of the media spotlight, yet Kate Middleton “isn’t entirely comfortable” in front of the camera, according to a former fashion editor who spent the day photographing the Duchess of Cambridge.

Alexandra Shulman, the outgoing editor-in-chief of Vogue, has opened up about what it was like working with the Duchess, one year on from her appearing as cover star for the centenary issue of the magazine.

The picture she paints is of someone informal and laid-back, despite the ridged etiquette that caveats her role as a high-profile royal ambassador and wife of the future King of England. 

Vogue

 “The Duchess arrived, in jeans and a parka, her hair in big rollers, with a bright, inclusive smile,” Shulman recalls. 

“Although the Duchess of Cambridge is one of the most photographed women in the world, she is not someone who feels entirely comfortable at the end of the lens, nor as the centre of attention, and throughout the day the whole mood was very low-maintenance.”


Read more: The baffling and bizarre rules of royal etiquette


She notes that Middleton, 35, was surprisingly “easygoing” throughout the shoot:

“Most of us would fuss about our skin or our lines or about our skin or our lines or whether we looked thin or fat or in some way wrong and would need constant reassurance, whereas she demonstrated none of these neuroses, which showed an admirable and surprising lack of vanity.”

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton: "not someone who feels entirely comfortable at the end of the lens"

Shulman reveals that the idea for a bucolic, country-themed shoot was endorsed by Middleton, who wanted the pictures to be “as informal as possible”.

“The Duchess liked the idea of being photographed in the countryside, and she wanted the pictures to reflect an element of her private existence,” she writes. 

“She didn’t want to be dressed as a fashion plate and was not keen to be shot in gala gowns and tiaras.” 

Instead, the wardrobe for the shoot was based “on what the Duchess likes to wear when she is off-duty – jeans, shirts, T-shirts”.


Read more: “I would seek help if Charlotte or George had mental health problems” says Kate Middleton


Perhaps understandably for one who isn’t at home in front of the camera, Middleton told Shuman how she loved the way her own children were completely unbothered by being photographed.

 “From taking photographs of George and Charlotte, I have been struck by the wonderful lack of self-consciousness that you see in photographs of children, without the self-awareness that adults generally feel,” she said.

The Duchess and her husband Prince William released a new photo of their daughter Charlotte (below) today, to mark her second birthday. The picture was taken by Middleton last month, at the family’s Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.

Charlotte

Princess Charlotte, in a photo taken by her mother

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman

Shulman edited Vogue for almost 25 years before stepping down as editor-in-chief a few months ago.

“It has been very hard to find a rational reason to leave what is unquestionably a fascinating and rewarding role but last autumn I realised that I very much wanted to experience a different life and look forward to a future separate to Vogue,” she said at the time.

Photos: Rex Features

Related

queen job twitter.jpg

The Queen is recruiting someone to decorate Buckingham Palace

kate-middleton-mental-health-motherhood-out-of-the-blue-film-launch-heads-together-3.jpg

Kate Middleton opens up about motherhood and mental illness

rexfeatures_7004000m (1).jpg

This is who will play Kate Middleton in controversial new BBC TV drama

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From a Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants reunion to Nicki Minaj's vintage look

by Nicola Colyer
18 Aug 2017

Chris Brown tried to excuse his attack on Rihanna, and it’s not OK

“Violence is a choice he made – and he alone is responsible for it”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

“I feel like people think I’m mean”

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

This Hocus Pocus star’s pregnancy announcement is pure 90s perfection

“I smell children…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Anna Faris on knowing when to call time on an unhappy relationship

“Don’t be afraid to seek your independence”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Aug 2017

Why Taylor Swift’s sexual assault verdict is a victory for womankind

The pop star has completely changed the narrative

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton defends Donald Trump from sexual assault allegations

“I think [the women] are just trying to get attention and get fame...”

by Moya Crockett
16 Aug 2017

The personality trait that Mindy Kaling hopes to pass on to her baby

Kaling gets real about motherhood as she confirms her pregnancy

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Aug 2017

Paris Hilton describes the emotional fallout of her 2001 sex tape

“I could not leave my house for months”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017

Taylor Swift wins sexual assault case for “anyone who feels silenced”

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard”

by Amy Swales
15 Aug 2017