When you've reached your 100th anniversary, you go big. And Vogue UK is kicking off its milestone year with a major festival lineup in May featuring Kim Kardashian, Alessandro Michele and Grace Coddington among its speakers. But the publication's latest celebratory announcement really takes the cake. On Saturday, Vogue UK revealed its June cover star: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, in her first magazine shoot ever. Publications such as Vanity Fair and Tatler have featured her on covers before, but always used paparazzi or official images.
"The Duchess had never taken part in a photography shoot like this before," said Middleton's spokesperson in an official statement. "She hopes that people appreciate the portraits with the sense of relaxed fun with which they were taken." In the cover image, Middleton wears a coat and shirt by Burberry, along with a hat from London vintage retailer Beyond Retro.
Vogue UK's fashion director Lucinda Chambers showcased a more casual style for Middleton, which is refreshing since most of our Duchess style sightings are fairly formal. (See her visit to the Taj Mahal in India and public appearances at a mentoring program in London as two recent examples). The cover and photo series were shot by Josh Olins on the Queen's Sandringham Estate where Middleton and Prince William own a 10-bedroom family home, called Anmer Hall.
The shoot was also produced in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, which is hosting the publication's special exhibit, "Vogue 100: A Century of Style." The partnership is perfect for Middleton as well: She's a patron of the London art landmark and her first official portrait, painted by Paul Emsley, has been hanging on its walls since 2013. Two more portraits from this Vogue UK issue are also on display at the National Portrait Gallery, which you can catch until the exhibit closes May 22. The portraits will then be back on permanent display in June.
See the full shoot in the June centenary issue of Vogue UK, on sale Thurs., May 5.