• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, India Fashion Comparison

Chris Jackson/PA Wire, PA Images/Sipa USA

Kate Middletonand the late Princess Dianaare two of the most talked-about members ever of Britain's royal family—but their respective approaches to fame couldn't have been more different.

"Diana was more interested in that high-voltage celebrity, that was something she really embraced. One of the things I've learned in this job is how much celebrity is a decision," Alexandra Shulman, editor in chief of British Vogue, said in an in-depth interview with ES Magazine ahead of the release of her new memoir, Inside Vogue: A Diary Of My 100th Year.

"The Duchess of Cambridge is prepared to do her bit, but it's not one of the things that she most cares about," Shulman continued. "She loves her kids and the countryside. Dressing up, that's a professional side to her. It's a sort of uniform, all those lovely couture costumes."

And don't get her wrong, she's quite fond of Kate.

"She's incredibly likable, she really is," Shulman gushed about Prince William's wife. "She wants to do what she's doing well and she's very professional. 

"That's the point with the royal family. It's when they stop being professional that things go wrong. We want them to be pros, to get everything right, to be on message and look great. We don't want them to have off days."

Don't worry, the editor talked fashion too, of course.

First on your to-dos if you hope to get on Alexandra's good side: be willing to design clothes for women who aren't a size zero and who aren't famous.

In fact, one of the editor's biggest pet-peeves is designers who refuse to lend clothes to women outside of the entertainment industry.

"If you want teenage girls to be something other than Kim Kardashian or [TV presenter] Holly Willoughby or Keira Knightley, if you want them to aspire to be in the professions—lawyers, doctors, economists, engineers—you've got to also encourage them to think they can have all the fun of glamour, too," Shulman advised.

Russell Brand, ES Magazine

ES Magazine

As for the British designers who don't show their clothes at London Fashion Week, Alexandra has opinions about them, too—and she doesn't understand why they don't show off their collections in their homeland.

"I really wish all the British designers would show in London: Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton and McQueen, Victoria Beckham. It would be so fantastic and I don't really understand why they don't," she observed.

That being said, Shulman admires the Beckhams greatly and even discusses them in her memoir.

"That's a strong-worked image and as I say in the book they all contribute. It's unbelievable," she tells ES. "It's like the royal family: it's a machine isn't it? They're all in there. Even Harper is now adding to the lustre of the Beckhams. She's only four."

Alexandra Shulman

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

And she may be a fashion-world celebrity herself, but Alexandra is the first to admit that circulating in a glamorous world means she has it all figured out.

"I'm terribly unhealthy," she admitted cheekily. "I do everything the wrong way round: eat, drink, smoke and sleep."

She also opened up about having a life-long struggle with severe anxiety.

"I carry an emergency Xanax, although I haven't used it for quite a long time," she revealed. "Lots of people feel bad about admitting [to anxiety]. Drugs to treat anxiety and depression are absolutely invaluable. Anybody who thinks it is wrong is not giving themselves a chance."

It sounds as though Shulman's book is going to be quite juicy—and she was indeed very candid about her personal experiences despite the likelihood her revelations will cause controversy.

"It's not in my nature to offend," she told ES, "but I decided to do this so I have to be prepared that some people might be upset."

"You can say someone is a serial killer and they won't be offended. But say they wore a red tie and they never wear a red tie, and they really mind. My main thing was it had to be honest."

You can read more of the fashion icon's full interview in this week's issue of ES.