Prince William and his children chose Kate Middletons 40th birthday pictures

Kate Middleton “danced to waltz mixed with rock ‘n’ roll” during her special 40th birthday shoot, her photographer has said.

Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi worked with the Duchess of Cambridge on the portraits for her 40th birthday, which were released by Kensington Palace on her birthday yesterday.

Now the famed photographer has opened up on the shoot, revealing how he took 250 images during the shoot at Kew Gardens, with Prince William, 39, and the couple’s children choosing their favourite ones to be released.

Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six, and Prince Louis, three, were included in the choice of the three striking photos of Kate released for her milestone birthday.

The photographer explained how the family had chosen the black-and-white image in which Kate is facing the camera, calling it “a carefree girl returning”.

However, he also claimed in an interview that when he first met with Kate last November at Kensington Palace for tea, she initially was “apprehensive”.

Speaking, the photographer said: “Knowing my photos with models she was a bit fearful in facing a real session, which then required about four hours of work.

"But once she started it would be very easy, I reassured her.”

Paolo also added how he wanted the shoot to be “natural” and “timeless”, without appearing “too establishment”.

He added: “[The shoot was] all in natural light. Her with little make-up, no hairstyle, simple pearl earrings, a ring…

"The focal point of Kate's face is her gaze and smile. I didn't want her to be too lady duchess, too establishment, but purer and as contemporary as possible, timeless even.”

Of working with Kate, famed photographer Paolo – who has taken photographs of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Rihanna and Madonna, among others – said: “She is a nice, welcoming woman who puts you at ease, respectful of everyone's work. Bursts of joie de vivre.

"Open, generous, luminous, I think she can bring so much hope to England and to the whole world”.

After celebrating her 40th birthday on Sunday 9 January, Kate gave thanks for her many well-wishes in a social media post.

Posting one of the portraits to the Duke and Duchess’ official Instagram, Kate wrote: “Thank you for all of your very kind birthday wishes, and to Paolo and the National Portrait Gallery for these three special portraits.”

The portraits of Kate will enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London – of which Kate is patron – when it reopens in 2023.

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