Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:39 PM
Relaxed and looking forward to their big day, the Mario Testino portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as she was then
With wide smiles, they can barely conceal the excitement of their newly-announced engagement.
In this never-before-seen photograph, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear close and relaxed – thrilled by thoughts of their impending big day.
The photograph, taken by Mario Testino, graces the July cover of Vanity Fair.
It includes further portraits by Testino, such as the iconic picture of Princess Diana in 1997.
The Peruvian photographer took William and Kate’s engagement pictures at St James’ Palace last November.
Though William, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales have all turned to Testino for pictures to commemorate milestones, the celebrated fashion photographer had never before captured Miss Middleton.
But speaking the Mail On Sunday's Katie Nicholl for the accompany interview in U.S. Vogue, he said he already felt ‘very confident’ she would be an ‘easy sitter’ because of her natural grace.
And last week, speaking at a gala in his honour in New York, the 56-year-old said he understood why he was chosen to take the photographs.
Testino, a close friend of Diana’s, said: ‘I guess it was a way for them to keep William’s mother in the whole process of it.’
Despite the pressure of the shoot, Testino said the Duchess ‘looked fabulous’ and that the couple exuded ‘sheer happiness’.
He added: ‘They are a young couple in love.’
Portraits: Mario Testino (left) took Prince William and the then Kate Milddleton's official engagement picture (right) in 2010
The edition will lift the lid on the couple’s house-hunting and who does the chores around their Anglesey home.
It describes the pair’s giggles as they watched their nuptials back on television, and recounts the moment Michael Middleton realised the relationship was serious – when Prince William arrived at his Berkshire home by helicopter.
It also recalls the rather surprising requests the pair had for their honeymoon suite – including Philadelphia cream cheese and Brussel sprouts.
The July issue of Vanity Fair will be on news-stands on June 3, ahead of the newly-weds’ trip to Canada and California in July.