In a world exclusive Kate Middleton finally turns cover girl for Marie Claire. Or does she
18:20 GMT, 16 July 2012
She is the cover star that every glossy magazine has been chasing for years, and most editors would gladly trade their entire collection of Chanel handbags to scoop the exclusive.
Now it looks like Marie Claire South Africa is celebrating the industry's biggest coup in years: a cover featuring the Duchess of Cambridge posing in the latest designer fashion.
Or are they
Ready for her close up: Kate Middleton has made her glossy cover debut on Marie Claire South Africa's August issue
The August issue features a beaming Kate Middleton posing with a hand on her hip and showing off immaculate hair and make-up.
In another first, the Duchess is pictured wearing a South African designer.
But a closer inspection reveals that the glossy shot is in fact a rather clever fake and the printed dress by Clive Rundle has simply been added on to an existing picture of the Royal.
The magazine, which features four more photoshopped images of Kate inside, is calling the lifelike picture 'fan art tribute'
Editor Aspasia Karras told the Telegraph, “The cover is actually a hyper-real illustration of Kate, meant to be a fan art tribute to fashion's new royal icon.”
Warpaint: The FEMAIL team gave Kate an extreme makeover using new M&S beauty technology earlier this week
The cover line next to her tribal print dress touts the Duchess as a fan of South African design declaring: “Kate Middleton: Fashion's New Royal Icon wears SA's Best Local Designs.” and then acknowledging the “fan-art” aspect with an asterisk: “Of course she doesn't. But she should.”
This is the latest faux editorial imagery Kate has starred in.
Earlier this week FEMAIL used new virtual beauty technology to give the brunette a cheeky makeover.
And America magazine The New Republic caused a stir using a picture of 30-year-old Kate showing off what appeared to be rotten teeth to depict the dismal state of the UK economy.