This year marks British Vogue 100th anniversary, and to celebrate the centenary issue the Duchess of Cambridge has been unveiled as the June cover star.
The stunning images were taken this past January in Norfolk by Josh Olins, one of the world’s leading fashion photographers, in a collaboration between Vogue and the National Portrait Gallery.
The Duchess is shown casually dressed in the countryside; while a professional makeup artist was hired for the shoot, the outfits were chosen by the Duchess herself with the help of Vogue‘s fashion editor Lucinda Chambers and editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman. On the cover she wears a Burberry coat and a hat from London boutique Beyond Retro.
‘It’s a huge honour and incredibly exciting for us to have HRH The Duchess of Cambridge featuring on the cover of British Vogue and as part of our centenary issue’, said Alexandra Shulman. ‘For me personally it has been a wonderful experience to have had the opportunity to work with her on this, and I am immensely proud of what we have produced. This special issue of the magazine is very close to my heart as it had to reflect on 100 years of British Vogue, and so I am hugely grateful that we have been able to continue with our tradition of outstanding royal portraiture with these pictures.’
The Duchess is the third senior member of the Royal Family to pose for a Vogue cover, following Diana, Princess of Wales, who also appeared posthumously in 1997, and Princess Anne.
Two of the seven images of the photo shoot will be displayed at the ‘Vogue 100: A Century of Style‘ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It will run until 22 May before moving to Manchester, where it will be possible to admire more than 280 images from Vogue‘s archive.
The Duchess, who is very interested in photography and is patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012, will see the exhibition this Wednesday on an official visit.
The director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, said: ‘Josh has captured the Duchess exactly as she is – full of life, with a great sense of humour, thoughtful and intelligent, and in fact, very beautiful. Not only do they reflect her love of the countryside, interest in photography and championing of the National Portrait Gallery as our very committed patron, but they also encapsulate what Vogue has always done so brilliantly – to pair the best photographers with the great personalities of the day, in order to reflect broader shifts in culture and society. We had fun in making and choosing these images, and I hope that comes across.’
Olins explained he was very honoured to have been chosen to photograph the Duchess, thanking Alexandra Shulman for the opportunity: ‘This was the Duchess’s first sitting for a magazine and she was a joy to work with, a natural. I am extremely grateful to Alexandra Shulman for placing her faith in me for such an important and historic assignment.’
As for The Duchess of Cambridge, a Kensington Palace spokesman said: ‘Since 1916, Vogue has been a leading champion of British portraiture. The Duchess was delighted to play a part in celebrating the centenary of an institution that has given a platform to some of the most renowned photographers in this country’s history. She is incredibly grateful to the team at Vogue and at the National Portrait Gallery for asking her to take part. She would like to thank Josh Olins for being such a pleasure to work with. The Duchess had never taken part in a photography shoot like this before. She hopes that people appreciate the portraits with the sense of relaxed fun with which they were taken.’
The June 2016 British Vogue issue will be available from 5 May. Tickets for the exhibition are still available at npg.org.uk.