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She may be one of the photographed women in the world, but that didn’t make the Duchess of Cambridge’s photoshoot for the cover of Vogue any less surprising – or magnificent.

As part of Vogue’s celebrations for its centenary year, the magazine’s editor-in-chief at the time Alexandra Shulman, pulled off the magazine cover-shoot of the year (if not the last decade). Having turned down invitations from the magazine to shoot for their pages previously, when Kate finally did agree to appear in one of the world’s most famous fashion mags, no one was more thrilled than Shulman.

“Like every other editor in the world, to commission a cover shoot with the young woman who is married to our future king was pretty far up my wish-list for the magazine” Alexandra Shulman admitted in a piece for Vogue.

Kate Middleton Vogue portraits

The Duchess of Cambridge stands with director of the National Portrait Gallery Nicholas Cullinan, and editor-in-chief of the British edition of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, during a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London, to view the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition and two photographic portraits of herself taken as part of a wider spread in British Vogue’s centenary June issue.

Reflecting on what is sure to become an iconic cover of Vogue, Shulman revealed how down-to-earth and ‘normal’ the Duchess was. She also confessed that the laid-back, countryside shoot was actually Kate’s idea.

“The Duchess liked the idea of being photographed in the countryside”

“She wanted the pictures to reflect an element of her private existence.”

“She didn’t want to be dressed as a fashion plate” Shulman explained.

Shulman reveals that Kate “was not keen to be shot in gala gowns and tiaras.”

Instead, the wardrobe for Kate’s shoot was based “on what the Duchess likes to wear when she is off-duty – jeans, shirts, T-shirts. The same as the rest of us.”

We all know that Kate loves a striped, comfy, cotton T-shirt. So, it was no surprise to see one of her wardrobe staples appear in the Vogue shoot!

Far from the private yet polite and professional member of the royal family that we normally see, the Kate that Shulman worked with was just like us.

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

Anyone that’s worn rollers in their hair out of the house before an important event or night out knows how silly it feels – and the Duchess of Cambridge was no exception!

“The Duchess joked about how she must have appeared to anyone who saw her driving the car in her rollers” Shulman says.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s easy-going and down-to-earth nature meant the shoot ran smoothly.

“She was cheerful and incredibly patient throughout the day – constantly asking if we were happy with what we were getting. While the rest of us were muffed up in padded jackets, gloves and scarves, despite the cold she posed uncomplaining, often in just a thin cotton shirt.”

Despite the fact that Kate is constantly in the public eye, Shulman divulges that she is in fact quite shy.

“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”

Not only does she not like to be the centre of attention, she is also a little uncomfortable being photographed. This must be difficult, for someone who is papped as often as Kate. It was also an insecurity that Princess Diana struggled with.

However, despite her insecurities, the end result of the shoot was fantastic. The gorgeous photos, shot by photographer Josh Olins, really capture Kate’s vivacious, fun and caring nature. As well as her sense of humour! Plus, we love the countryside laid-back setting. We love the candid photos of the Duchess – don’t you? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below. Or, on the Woman’s Own Facebook page.