Who is Paolo Roversi, the trtendy Italianphotographer behind Kate Middleton’s stunning portraits


The man behind the camera: How the Duchess of Cambridge declined the offer of an official painting and turned to iconic fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, 74, to help mark her 40th birthday in VERY glamorous style

  • Paris-based Italian photographer Paolo Roversi took new Kate Middleton photos
  • Three images were taken at Kew Gardens with the Duchess wearing dresses from Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton 
  • At 74, Roversi’s widely lauded as one of the world’s best fashion photographers, working for publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, W and Interview
  • He has also worked with designers like Valentino, Saint Laurent, Dior and Cerruti 
  • Has photographed everyone from Emma Watson to Rihanna and Kate Moss 


<!–

<!–

<!–
<!–

<!–
(function (src, d, tag){ var s = d.createElement(tag), prev = d.getElementsByTagName(tag)[0]; s.src = src; prev.parentNode.insertBefore(s, prev); }(“https://www.dailymail.co.uk/static/gunther/1.17.0/async_bundle–.js”, document, “script”));

<!– DM.loadCSS(“https://www.dailymail.co.uk/static/gunther/gunther-2159/video_bundle–.css”);

<!–

While many a royal birthday has been marked with a painting in oil, the Duchess of Cambridge, known for her love of photography, decided a photoshoot would be the most fitting way to mark her 40th birthday. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 today, looks enchanting in three intimate and timeless high fashion pictures taken by the trendy Italian-born photographer Paolo Roversi.

Kate picked the 74-year-old photographer herself and it was revealed the pair had several videos calls to get to know each other before meeting for Kate’s close up in Kew Gardens. 

Roversi, who is based in Paris, has carved a name for himself in the fashion world, having worked for Vanity Fai as well as American and Italian Vogue and countless designers, from Dior to Comme Des Garcons, Cerruti, Valentino and Saint Laurent. 

Scroll down for video

The Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 today, looks enchanting in three high fashion photographs taken by Italian-born photographer Paolo Roversi - it's though the royal wanted a photographic portrait rather than a more traditional painting

The Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 today, looks enchanting in three high fashion photographs taken by Italian-born photographer Paolo Roversi - it's though the royal wanted a photographic portrait rather than a more traditional painting

The Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 40 today, looks enchanting in three high fashion photographs taken by Italian-born photographer Paolo Roversi – it’s though the royal wanted a photographic portrait rather than a more traditional painting

The Paris-based photographer, pictured in 2019, has captured celebrities like Rihanna, Emma Watson, Claire Foy and Kristen Stewart, and has worked with Vogue, Vanity Fair, Dior, Cerruti, and Saint Laurent in the course of his prestigious career

The Paris-based photographer, pictured in 2019, has captured celebrities like Rihanna, Emma Watson, Claire Foy and Kristen Stewart, and has worked with Vogue, Vanity Fair, Dior, Cerruti, and Saint Laurent in the course of his prestigious career

The Paris-based photographer, pictured in 2019, has captured celebrities like Rihanna, Emma Watson, Claire Foy and Kristen Stewart, and has worked with Vogue, Vanity Fair, Dior, Cerruti, and Saint Laurent in the course of his prestigious career 

Over a distinguished career, Roversi has made a name for himself with the striking, artistic pictures of celebrities he’s taken over the years, from Hollywood glitterati to fashion royalty like Kate Moss. 

The Italian-born photographer has snapped everyone who’s anyone in the last few decades, with recent subjects including Rihanna, Saoirse Ronan and Kristen Stewart. 

The Paris-based photographer was last night effusive in his praise for the Duchess, describing the Royal photoshoot ‘a true honour’ and ‘a moment of pure joy’.

He said: ‘I was moved by her warmth and friendly welcome and enchanted by her shining eyes that reflected the loveliness of her soul and her smile showing the generosity of her heart. 

‘I have met a wonderful person, a person who, with her positive energy, can bring hope to the whole world.’

The Duchess selected Roversi, 74, in consultation with the National Portrait Gallery and the pair are though to have held video calls to get to know one another better – before meeting at an indoor studio at Kew Gardens for the shoot.

A Palace source said: ‘From the three photographs, you can see the three aspects of Kate’s personality.

‘There is the regal side to her – as you can see in the classic shot where she is looking off into the distance; there is the more informal image in the red dress as a modern woman at 40; and then there is the close-up, which offers a more intimate perspective. 

The Duchess of Cambridge first had video calls with Roversi in order to get to know him before he shot her portraits, pictured

The Duchess of Cambridge first had video calls with Roversi in order to get to know him before he shot her portraits, pictured

The Duchess of Cambridge first had video calls with Roversi in order to get to know him before he shot her portraits, pictured

In the eye-catching colour shot, Kate looks into the camera, her hand elegantly resting in the pocket of a one-shoulder red dress while her hair billows out over her shoulder.

As in all the images, her jewellery is limited to just one pair of earrings – in this case diamonds borrowed from the Queen’s private collection – so her expression is the focus.

In the black-and-white pictures, Kate wears Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings, while in the side-on portrait her engagement ring, also previously belonging to Prince William’s late mother, is prominent.

The dresses are all by Alexander McQueen, the same design house that created Kate’s wedding dress in 2011.

In the black-and-white close-up, Kate looks straight into the camera, wearing a recycled silk Jacquard lace organza and tulle dress, which was created from remnants of past McQueen collections stitched together.

Paolo Roversi’s passion for photography was born during a family holiday in Spain in 1964, when he was 16. Upon his return home, he immediately built a darkroom on in his family’s basement upon his return. 

The 40-year-old Queen-in-waiting looks ethereal and timeless in the elegant portraits released to mark her birthday today

The 40-year-old Queen-in-waiting looks ethereal and timeless in the elegant portraits released to mark her birthday today

The 40-year-old Queen-in-waiting looks ethereal and timeless in the elegant portraits released to mark her birthday today

He began working as a photographer aged 22 as a photojournalist for the Associated Press. 

In 1973, he was invited to Paris by Elle’s art director Peter Knapp, and his focus soon shifted to fashion. 

He assisted British photographer Lawrence Sackmann for nine months before he began to started shooting independently. 

He met wider recognition working with a Dior beauty campaign in 1980 and becae a leader in the world of fashion photography by the mid-1980s.  

Speaking of the calendar, which was shot in Paris and Verona over the course of a week in May 2019, Roversi revealed: ‘I am still searching for my Juliet and I will be searching all my life. Because Juliet is a dream.’ 

In 2015, his photographs of Kate Moss for W, styled by Edward Enninful, also made headlines. 

The Croydon-born model was barely recognisable in the snaps as she went topless and sported stark white skin in a haunting spread entitled Painted Lady.

With a platinum wig covering her brunette tresses, Moss was seen in a billowing white chiffon Valentino haute couture gown pulled down to her torso, leaving a reddened nipple exposed.

Pictured: Roversi with Claire Foy on the shoot of the Pirelli calendar of 2019, which was inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliet

Pictured: Roversi with Claire Foy on the shoot of the Pirelli calendar of 2019, which was inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliet

Pictured: Roversi with Claire Foy on the shoot of the Pirelli calendar of 2019, which was inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliet 

The spread, shot by Paolo Roversi and styled by Edward Enninful, features a dozen images of the star in all, wearing stunning gowns from such fashion brands as Giambattista Valli and Dior. 

W editor in chief, Stefano Tonchi, said at the time: ‘Photographer Paolo Roversi and W’s Fashion and Style Director Edward Enninful literally knocked the stuffing out of couture, zeroing in on the raciest, most sensuous looks of the season. These are not your typical ladies-who-lunch ensembles. 

In 2019, he took the Pirelli calendar from sleazy bikini shots to a work of art by immortalising Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart and Claire Foy in a Romeo and Juliet inspired high-fashion shoot. 

With Paolo snapping away, the protagonists were seen acting, posing, and even singing to express their own emotion to interpret the role.

Roversi behind the scenes of the Pirelli Calendar photo shoot in 2019 with American actress Yara Shahidi

Roversi behind the scenes of the Pirelli Calendar photo shoot in 2019 with American actress Yara Shahidi

Roversi behind the scenes of the Pirelli Calendar photo shoot in 2019 with American actress Yara Shahidi

The actresses gushed about the project and its photographer at the time, with Watson saying: ‘Paolo is someone I have always wanted to work with. His photos look like these unbelievable paintings.’ 

The Italian has said of his approach: ‘My photography is more subtraction than addition.

‘We all have a sort of mask of expression. You say goodbye, you smile, you are scared. I try to take all these masks away and little by little subtract until you have something pure left.’

Released to mark Kate’s 40th birthday today, the stylish photographs mark a dramatic departure from images we are more used to seeing of the Duchess in formal poses or surrounded by her family.

Spencer actress Kristen Stewart was photographed by Roversi for Pirelli in 2019 during the Julien-inspired shoot

Spencer actress Kristen Stewart was photographed by Roversi for Pirelli in 2019 during the Julien-inspired shoot

Spencer actress Kristen Stewart was photographed by Roversi for Pirelli in 2019 during the Julien-inspired shoot

A Palace source said: ‘From the three photographs, you can see the three aspects of Kate’s personality.

‘There is the regal side to her – as you can see in the classic shot where she is looking off into the distance; there is the more informal image in the red dress as a modern woman at 40; and then there is the close-up, which offers a more intimate perspective.’

In the eye-catching colour shot, Kate looks into the camera, her hand elegantly resting in the pocket of a one-shoulder red dress while her hair billows out over her shoulder.

As in all the images, her jewellery is limited to just one pair of earrings – in this case diamonds borrowed from the Queen’s private collection – so her expression is the focus.

Emma Watson, who also posed for Roversi for the Pirelli Calendar, pictured, said she had always wanted to work with the Italian photographer

Emma Watson, who also posed for Roversi for the Pirelli Calendar, pictured, said she had always wanted to work with the Italian photographer

Emma Watson, who also posed for Roversi for the Pirelli Calendar, pictured, said she had always wanted to work with the Italian photographer

In the black-and-white pictures, Kate wears Princess Diana’s Collingwood pearl and diamond earrings, while in the side-on portrait her engagement ring, also previously belonging to Prince William’s late mother, is prominent.

The dresses are all by Alexander McQueen, the same design house that created Kate’s wedding dress in 2011.

In the black-and-white close-up, Kate looks straight into the camera, wearing a recycled silk Jacquard lace organza and tulle dress, which was created from remnants of past McQueen collections stitched together.

A Palace source said that for the side-on shot, Kate, who studied art history at St Andrews University, was inspired by the work of Cecil Beaton, the revered photographer who captured historic images of the Queen and Princess Margaret.

The images are to be added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of which the Duchess – a keen photographer herself – is patron.

They will join other photographs of Kate such as the Mario Testino engagement portrait with William and her 2016 photoshoot for Vogue magazine.

Former Royal photographer Ian Lloyd said: ‘This is a fascinating departure from the early, very rigid images – the posed engagement photos and the later emphasis we’ve seen on family life, as well as her own natural style of photographing her children in familiar surroundings.

‘They are reminiscent of the Patrick Demarchelier images of Diana – black-and-white, minimalist background, very romantic.

‘Both show women with growing confidence able to shine on their own, away from the family.’

French photographer Mr Demarchelier made history in 1989 when he was hired by Diana as the first non-British photographer to capture a member of the Royal Family and produced a series of iconic black-and-white images of Diana smiling straight into the camera.

Kate also helped pick the three images which will go on display at the London gallery when it reopens next year.

They will also form part of a roving Coming Home exhibition this year in which portraits of famous people will be displayed in their home towns.

Kate’s photographs will be displayed in Berkshire, where her parents live, St Andrews, where she met Prince William as a student, and Anglesey, North Wales, where the couple spent the first years of their married life.

A Palace source said it was fitting that Kate’s portrait would be part of the exhibition as the Duchess ‘very much sees her role as bringing the nation and communities together’.

The Palace said that Kate would spend her birthday today ‘privately’ while it is thought there might be a bigger joint party to coincide with William’s 40th birthday in June.

Advertisement

Shop Women Clothes | Shop Celebrity Approved Women Activewear