The New Republic‘s Kate Middleton Cover: SPY Homage?

But it appears the inspiration may actually have been one of Ms. Brown’s chief gadflies, the late Spy magazine. Gawker’s Adrian Chen pointed us to a very similar Spy cover from December 1993. Like TNR, Spy advertised a cover package about the end of the British empire (“U.K. Decay” vs. “Something’s Rotten”) by giving the country’s most photogenic leader a patriotic dental makeover. (Also, note the coincidental cover line touting a piece on Ms. Brown’s New Yorker.)

It’s an uncharacteristically cheeky treatment from TNR, but it may be a sign of a new era at the magazine. With the online paywall torn down, is the magazine angling for more newsstand sales? Can we look forward to more visual hijinks from the buttoned-up beltway thought leader?

New Republic art director Joe Heroun declined to comment.