Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has landed on the cover of Marie Claire South Africa's August issue.
Middleton, who is arguably one of the most sought after celebrities in the world of fashion, has never agreed to pose for the cover of any fashion magazine which is partly why she is so high in demand. Her Marie Claire cover picture has evidently been photoshopped, according to The Daily Telegraph U.K.
"Kate Middleton is, without a doubt, the world's new style icon," Aspasia Karras, editor of Marie Claire South Africa told The Daily Telegraph U.K. "We have honored her with a fan-art tribute, dressing her up in clothes by South African designers and placing her in all sorts of fun, everyday situations."
The fake cover features a beaming Middleton who is made to appear as if she is posing with her right hand on her hip and showing off immaculate hair and make-up.
The 31-year-old's photo has been manipulated and altered to give off the illusion that she is wearing an African inspired dress by South African designer Clive Rundle.
Fans of Middleton flocked to social networking site Twitter to vent their outage at the magazine, which features four additional photoshopped pictures of the Duchess inside its latest issue.
"Kate Middleton faux front cover for Marie Claire south africa.. Creepy! Not my definition of fan art at all!" Mhairi tweeted.
"Kate Middleton for Marie Claire South Africa is probably the worst spread to ever exist," Matthew tweeted
"Identity Theft! This is outrageous. Show some respect," Alexandra Grant tweeted.
Middleton, whose celebrity status reached new heights after she and Prince William's April 2011 Royal wedding, is highly sought after particularly by Vogue Magazine's Editor in Chief Anna Wintour. Wintour has reportedly been trying to land a photoshoot with Middleton for over a year, but the Duchess is said to be reluctant.
"Both William and Kate feel it would be wrong for Kate to promote herself as a fashion or style icon," a palace aide told E! News. "That's not what they are about and they take their royal duties far too seriously to, in one sense, trivialize them."
Although recent reports suggest that Middleton has willingly declined several invitations for photoshoots with Vogue, previous reports suggest that it is actually Queen Elizabeth II who has objected.
"Kate is keenly conscious that while her new grandmother-in-law may not chide her for appearing on a Vogue cover. But she would definitely not be amused," a source told The Hollywood Gossip.
"They are flattered by the attention but that's not what they are about and they take their royal duties far too seriously to, in one sense, trivialize them," the source added.