British Tatler didn't get an interview with Kate Middleton for its new issue — the cover is a file photo, and the story inside is just a list of (bizarre, mostly pregnancy related) advice to her. The chosen photo, however, calls to mind nothing so much as religious iconography. The soft focus, the obscure, apparently sourceless golden light, the gentle incline of her head, the beatific smile: Kate Middleton looks like one of those Jesus plates you see at thrift stores.
Tatler even made sure Kate Middleton's head was positioned just like Mary's. This isn't the first time Tatler has run a piece of Middleton fan art as a cover: the magazine previously took a press photo of Pippa Middleton in her bridesmaid garb and turned it into a cover.
So where did this picture come from? Last September 29th, Middleton and her husband visited a hospital in South London. She wore an Amanda Wakeley dress and a
cross necklace. One of the photos taken by the press that day formed the basis of Tatler's cover. While this isn't the exact same shot, it is a similar one, and as you can see it took a lot of Photoshop filtering and background changes, plus cropping and rotating to get that saintly head-tilt just right, to turn the run-of-the-mill news snap into a cover image that looks like it belongs on a church pamphlet. The reference to iconography (or, if you prefer, kitsch) does not appear to be accidental.
The magazine story reads like a bizarre lecture on the joys and pitfalls of pregnancy — sample lines: "Your luscious locks will now be even longer and thicker..." "FYI, even if he's hung like a donkey, he still wouldn't get anywhere near the baby's head..." "Being constantly out of breath and sweaty, with a huge afro and your inner thighs rubbing together, is not going to improve your mood..." — even though, as we all know, there has been no announcement of any pregnancy. Maybe the reference to the Madonna was supposed to subtly associate, in the minds of viewers, Kate Middleton with motherhood. Either that or they wanted to anoint her the patron saint of really shiny hair.