'She's not a silent mannequin who puts on expensive clothes': Alexandra Shulman reveals why Kate insisted on dressing down for her Vogue shoot

  • Vogue editor appeared on today's Lorraine show with Helen Skelton 
  • Opened up about Kate's style for centenary issue cover
  • Said the Duchess doesn't want to be seen as a 'clothes horse'
  • Asked Kate to appear previously but she turned it down  

She's a fashion icon with the power to make outfits sell out within days of wearing them in public.

But the despite her style credentials, the Duchess of Cambridge is determined not to be seen as a 'clothes horse', according to Vogue's Alexandra Shulman. 

The long-standing editor who appeared on today's Lorraine show opened up about why Kate, 34, did not opt for high fashion for her Vogue cover shoot earlier this year. 

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Alexandra Shulman who appeared on today's Lorraine show opened up about why Kate Middleton, 34, did not opt for high fashion for her Vogue cover shoot earlier this year

Presenter Helen Skelton, who is standing in for Lorraine, referred back to Princess Diana's glamorous Vogue covers, noting that Kate had opted for a very different style.

'I can't really speak for her but in my experience it was I think it was very much her feeling that she wanted to be what she felt she was comfortable with being,' Alexandra said. 

'She is not a clothes horse. The idea that she is a kind of silent mannequin that just wants to put on expensive clothes is so not what she is. And I think she wanted this cover to reflect that.'

Alexandra, 58, also revealed that Kate had initially turned down the request to be a Vogue cover star.  

Kate visits the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The connection with the gallery, of which she's patron, is thought to have persuaded her to do the Vogue shoot

Kate was the cover star of British Vogue's centenary issue in June, but editor Alexandra Shulman has revealed that she previously turned down requests to appear in the magazine

Say it in suede like the Duchess in Burberry

We've been following her wardrobe choices ever since she stepped into the limelight by the side of Prince William and we've never been disappointed with the Duchess of Cambridge's sartorial sense.

Kate graced the June cover of Vogue in none other than Burberry (of course!) and while we would've hoped and expected to see her wearing an elegant, luxurious dress---this suede coat was fitting for the Princess of effortless chic.

Burberry has long been the go-to designer for trenches and although pricey, we think they're worth every penny. Being suede, Kate's exact coat's cost is ramped up even further, but if you're feeling flush, click right to snag a similar style for yourself.

Want to get the look for less? See below for a line up alternatives we think will royally fit the bill.


'Probably every magazine in the world had asked her if she would be on the cover, I should think,' she said. 

'I had certainly asked her before. And it was only when I was writing to her saying: "It's our centenary, it's our 100 years of Vogue and we do have kind of a history of being able to feature the royal family" that I realised we had another connection.'

Vogue were set to hold an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, of which Kate is the patron. 

Alexandra told presenter Helen Skelton that the Duchess refuses to be seen as a 'silent mannequin' who is only interested in wearing designer clothes 

The editor of UK Vogue said it was 'the best news ever' when she found out Kate was going to do a photo shoot with the magazine for its centenary issue 

And it gave Alexandra the idea that a shoot with the Duchess could also be a way of her supporting the institution. 

'It ticked the box and yes it happened,' she said. 'It was the best new when I heard she was going to be on the cover.'

But the editor successfully managed to keep that news to herself and a few key members of her team, despite being followed by a documentary film crew. 

Richard Macer was filming Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue as the iconic cover was being planned, but he was kept in the dark for four months and even fooled with a decoy cover.

Despite the secrecy and planning the iconic cover did not end up being the biggest-selling issue of the year. 

 That honour went to the September issue, featuring Cara Delevingne on the cover. 

'Yes she did very very well for us but actually she wasn't the best selling issue of the year,' Alexandra told Woman's Hour. 

'But that's not because of Cara Delevingne it's because it's the September issue and everyone wants to buy Vogue for fashion, so you can't really judge it that way.'     

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