<em>The New Republic</em>‘s Kate Middleton Cover: <em>SPY</em> Homage?

Our first thought upon glancing at the latest New Republic cover was that new editor-in-chief, Facebook founder and marriage equality

Our first thought upon glancing at the latest New Republic cover was that new editor-in-chief, Facebook founder and marriage equality activist Chris Hughes was cribbing from Tina Brown‘s playbook. It has all the elements of a latter day Newsweek cover: A royal, buzzy photoshop, canny packaging. (Duchess Kate Middleton is more symbol than subject, as Britain’s royal family is not mentioned in the editorial package.)  

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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.

<em>The New Republic</em>‘s Kate Middleton Cover: <em>SPY</em> Homage?