Duchess Kate published the most symbolic photos ever taken of her on her birthday. Now the photographer talks about the glamorous shoot and shares some details about the photos and the process of shooting.
She is considered the new style icon of the British royal family: Duchess Kate celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday. The palace published several photographic portraits that show Kate sometimes glamorous, sometimes dignified. The pictures will initially be exhibited in different parts of the country before being shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London when it reopens next year.
In one of the photos she looks boldly into the camera. She wears a glamorous red dress that leaves one shoulder uncovered and hangs down on the other in large folds down to the elbow. The hands are casually tucked into the wide folds of the skirt. The picture graced the front pages of several of the country’s major Sunday newspapers.
Another picture shows Kate dignified in black and white, her gaze turned to one side, lost in thought, in a white dress made of gathered, gossamer fabric – almost like in one of the early photographs of Queen Victoria from the 19th century. And in a third portrait, also black and white, she looks into the camera with a warm smile. She wears a dress overflowing with ruffles and is somewhat similar to her mother-in-law Princess Diana, who died 25 years ago.
The photographer reveals: “I didn’t want her to be too much of a duchess”
The conservative Sunday Telegraph commented that these were the most emblematic photos that have been made of Kate. “They also show the different sides of the Duchess, from the friendly, smiling, approachable mother to the more distant, lofty pose of a future queen,” the paper continues. The portraits will initially be exhibited in different parts of the country before being shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London when it reopens next year.
The pictures were taken by the Italian photographer Paolo Roversi in London’s Kew Gardens botanical garden. In an interview with the newspaper “Corriere della Sera” (Sunday), he raved about the photo shoot. “Everything in natural light. Little make-up, no hairstyle, just pearl earrings, a ring …” The focus should be on Kate’s gaze and smile, says Roversi. “I didn’t want her to be too much a duchess, too much establishment, but as pure and contemporary as possible.”
One photo is Duchess Kate’s favorite
But the duchess is said to have been worried at first, the 74-year-old also revealed. “Although she is swarmed by photographers every day, she is not used to posing.” At first she had respect for a photo session over four hours, which is typical for Roversi. “But once we started it would be very easy, I assured her. And it was.”
In the end, both he and Kate would have selected the best from around seventy pictures. “The official photo is both my and her favorite.” The second picture, in which Kate looks at the camera with a smile, was chosen by William and the children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, writes the newspaper. The third, in the red dress, is a little more glamorous in how she sees herself.
Duchess Kate thanks the photographer via Twitter
Roversi also tells of wild moving scenes in which he photographed Kate. “In the end I wanted to take photos in motion. So I made her dance in this wonderful wide skirt in front of my lens,” said the 74-year-old. Roversi spoke of a kind of fast waltz mixed with a pinch of rock ‘n’ roll. The resulting picture will remain “secret for the time being”, according to the newspaper.
Kate reciprocated with a personal thank you for the shoot via Twitter: “Thank you for all the very dear birthday wishes and you Paolo and the National Portrait Gallery for these three special portraits,” she wrote in the message signed with a C.
Read more about Duchess Kate here:
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For her 40th birthday, the palace is releasing new portraits of Duchess Kate. The recordings are to be included in the National Portrait Gallery.