Kate Middleton has given new meaning to the term dancing queen (in waiting).
The Duchess of Cambridge's office recently released three breathtaking portraits to celebrate her 40th birthday – and now the photographer who took them has revealed what the experience was like.
Paolo Roversi (74) says Kate was initially apprehensive about the photoshoot but he did his best to make her feel relaxed.
“I made her dance in front of my camera, a kind of accelerated waltz mixed with a pinch of rock 'n roll,” he says.
Unfortunately, no pics of the royal dancing were released to the public.
Paolo revealed that Kate’s husband, Prince William, and their three kids – Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (6) and Prince Louis (3) – helped pick the final three portraits from the 250 pictures he'd taken.
He says they also chose another “secret image”, which hasn't been released to the public.
The pictures were taken at London's Kew Gardens in November, three months before the duchess’ birthday on 9 January.
Paolo, an Italian-born fashion photographer, is a frequent contributor to fashion magazine Vogue.
He says each photo he took reveals a “different side” of the duchess.
The close-up of her reveals her “carefree girl returning”, while the more formal black-and-white image where she sits in traditional side profile as seen in many royal portraits over the years is “regal and shows a maturity that goes beyond her age”. The red one-shoulder gown pic is “a little more glamorous”.
He says he wanted to keep the portraits contemporary by using “only natural light, little makeup and no hairstyle”.
The portraits will enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, of which Kate is patron.
According to Kensington Palace, the pics will also be displayed during the course of the year in locations that have “special meaning” to Kate.
One such special place is the county of Berkshire, where she was raised and where the Middleton family still lives.
The pics will also be exhibited at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where she famously met Prince William when she was an art history student, and in Anglesey, off the coast of Wales where she and William rented a cottage just after their 2011 wedding.
Sources: people.com, vogue.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk