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Royal Photographer Claims Buckingham Palace Had One Request At Philip's Memorial

Isobel Pankhurst

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Royal Photographer Claims Buckingham Palace Had One Request At Philip's Memorial

Featured Image Credit: Richard Pohle/ Getty; BBC

The photograph that's been seen around the world — the Queen being escorted into her late husband's memorial service — almost didn't happen, according to the photographer who captured it.

Writing in The Times this week, Richard Pohle said he was given strict instructions not to photograph the monarch's entrance into Westminster Abbey last week.

Richard felt the request was unreasonable given that the event was being broadcast on the BBC to the entire world, adding that he was the only official photographer at the event.

The Queen arrived escorted by her son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (Credit: Alamy)
The Queen arrived escorted by her son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (Credit: Alamy)

Richard writes that with the speculation surrounding the Queen's arrival — and people asking if she'd arrive in a wheelchair — he was growing increasingly concerned that he wouldn't be able to get that all-important shot.

But then he heard the news that the Queen would be escorted by her son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. This in itself was headline news, given that Andrew has been out of the limelight since recently settling a reported $12M (£9M) sexual assault lawsuit in the US.

"I absolutely need to photograph this" Richard reportedly told palace press officers, as "the arrival of the Queen was now the major news event."

The photo of the Queen's arrival at Westminster Abbey almost didn't exist (Credit: Alamy)
The photo of the Queen's arrival at Westminster Abbey almost didn't exist (Credit: Alamy)

The press officer did eventually relent, allowing Richard to photograph the arrival.

Describing his prime position, he writes that he "was perched on a small plastic footstool behind a row of seats looking towards where the royal family would be seated. The Queen would enter and walk down the aisle opposite me. If all went well I would see her and Andrew as they walked all the way down the aisle."

However, he'd forgotten that when the Queen arrives tradition dictates that everyone stands.

With everyone standing it then became rather difficult to get a good shot.

The Queen arriving at the memorial service (Credit: Alamy)
The Queen arriving at the memorial service (Credit: Alamy)

Richard recounts that he "jumped off [his] footstool and moved quickly to the aisle between the rows of seats opposite where the Queen would walk" in order to get the perfect picture.

Nevertheless he managed to get a number of shots of the Queen and Duke of York's arrival at the memorial ceremony - in pictures that have been beamed around the world.

Topics: News, Royal Family, The Queen

Isobel Pankhurst
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