Behind-the-scenes photograph shows ‘consummate professional’ Duchess of Cambridge snapping Camilla for Country Life – as magazine reveals the cover shoot was Kate’s idea

  • Kate Middleton, 40, snapped Duchess of Cornwall for Country Life cover 
  • Duchess of Cambridge is a keen photographer and often snaps her kids
  • Cover photo of Camilla shows her relaxing at Ray Mill House country retreat
  • Royal source says it was Camilla’s idea to ask Kate to take the portrait 

A behind-the-scenes royal photo shows Kate Middleton snapping Camilla for the cover of Country Life.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, who was described as a ‘consummate professional’ by the magazine, is a keen photographer, and has taken several official portraits of her three children.

Now she can add the magazine cover to her portfolio, with the snap that shows the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, relaxing at her at Ray Mill House country retreat in Lacock, Wiltshire. 

According to Country Life, the behind-the-scenes image was taken by The Duchess of Cornwall’s country dresser, Shona Williams.

The photograph taken by Kate  appears in the July edition of the publication, just ahead of Camilla’s landmark 75th birthday on July 17.

A remarkable behind-the-scenes photo (pictured) shows Kate Middleton (right) snapping Camilla (left) for the cover of Country Life magazine 

The Duchess of Cornwall, 74, is seen beaming on the cover of Country Life in a photograph taken by the Duchess of Cambridge, 40  

According to a royal source, it was Camilla’s idea to ask Kate to take the photograph, and Country Life’s managing and features editor, Paula Lester has said the publication ‘could not be happier with the results’ of the photoshoot.

She added: ‘In fact, the set of images she took was so good that we struggled to choose only three, from which The Duchess of Cornwall made her final selection.’ 

According to Paula, Kate took the commission ‘very seriously’ and was ‘incredibly professional’ about the job.    

‘She phoned me to discuss our requirements for the cover and subsequently composed a range of beautifully shot images,’ Paula explained.

Meanwhile, the magazine’s editor Mark Hedges said everyone was thrilled by the photos which captured Camilla ‘magnificently’. He added that the magazine would be ‘delighted’ to offer Kate another commission.

The images were taken at Ray Mill House, a six-bedroom property 17 miles from the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove home, that Camilla bought after her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles in the mid-1990s.

The cover image shows a relaxed and smiling duchess, wearing a blue and white floral dress and cardigan with minimal jewellery (as well as her trusted Fitbit fitness tracker). A keen gardener, she is sitting, smiling and relaxed, holding a trug filled with pelargoniums.

A second portrait, also taken by Kate, is an informal shot of Camilla walking through forget-me-nots in the gardens.

The younger of the two duchesses is, of course, a keen amateur photographer and regularly releases pictures she has taken of her children to mark their birthdays.

She is also patron of the Royal Photographic Society and has taken part in a number of high-profile photographic projects.

The Duchess of Cornwall has joined a prestigious line-up of royal guest editors at the helm of Country Life to not only mark her 75th birthday but the magazine’s 125th anniversary year.

A royal source said it was Camilla’s idea to ask Kate to take her portrait and that she had been ‘delighted’ (pictured together last month at the Jubilee celebrations) 

It was taken at Ray Mill House, Camilla’s country retreat in Lacock, Wiltshire. She bought the six-bedroom property, 17 miles from the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove home, after her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles in the mid-1990s

Kate Middleton: The royal photographer!  

Kate has been widely praised for her photographic portraits of her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

She has documented milestones in their life such as birthdays and first days at nursery which have been published to mark the occasions.

Some of the most recent images include three pictures of Louis released when he celebrated his birthday on April 23.

She was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Photographic Society in January 2017 and patron in 2019.

The commemorative collectors’ issue, published on July 13, will be a highlight in a year-long celebration of the magazine’s role in marking the nation’s heritage and championing the countryside and rural life.

The royal edition will reflect The Duchess’s love of horses and dogs – she has two rescue Jack Russell terriers, Bluebell and Beth, and is patron of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

She will also reveal her champions of the countryside, her most cherished view and favourite recipe. It will focus on the work of the Duchess as patron of more than 90 charities, from Barnardo’s to the Royal School of Needlework and The Royal Society of Literature.

A royal source told the Mail that it had been the Duchess of Cornwall’s idea to ask Kate to take her portrait and that she had been ‘delighted’ to agree.

Mark Hedges, editor-in-chief of Country Life magazine, said: ‘Her Royal Highness is a passionate countrywoman and we are delighted that she follows her husband in presiding over this commemorative edition.’

Camilla is the fourth royal guest editor, following Charles – twice – and Princess Anne.

The decision for Kate to photograph the Duchess of Cornwall is the latest moment of unity between the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales and Camilla.

Over the past few months, the foursome have put on jovial and friendly displays at public events together, often led by Kate.

Kate is known to have a warm relationship with her father-in-law and has reportedly helped smooth the sometimes fractious relationship between the heir to the throne and his son, William.

The Duchess was warmly welcomed into the family by Charles after her engagement to William, and she’s been heard affectionately calling him Grandpa in public on previous occasions.

The younger of the two duchesses is, of course, a keen amateur photographer and regularly releases pictures she has taken of her children to mark their birthdays

The royal edition has been guest edited by the Duchess of Cornwall to mark her 75th birthday and the magazine’s 125th anniversary

Meanwhile she is often seen greeting him with a beaming smile, kissing him on the cheek.

Poignantly, she was photographed comforting the Prince of Wales following Prince Philip’s funeral procession last year.

In January, Kate, on the personal invitation of Prince Charles, joined him and Camilla on a visit to The Prince’s Foundation training site for arts and culture at Trinity Buoy Wharf, in London.

It marked the first time since 2012 the trio have stepped out without William.

And at the recent Jubilee events, the foursome were often spotted sharing a laugh with one another.

At Trooping the Colour, Camilla rode in a carriage with Kate and the three Cambridge children, before the family watched the fly-past together from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

On the second day of the Jubilee celebrations, the foursome exchanged an affectionate greeting at the service of Thanksgiving for the Queen.

Meanwhile Kate and Will showed their family’s close bond with Camilla and Charles at the Platinum Pageant, when they asked ‘Grandpa’ to look after a mischievous Prince Louis in one playful moment.

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