Harry and William are ‘reason why royal snappers are rarely invited to take candid photos of family’

By Staff

The Royal Family has a long history of taking pictures of themselves – the late Queen used to carry a camera in her famous handbag and would often use it to take snaps of visiting presidents and VIPs

Royal photographers today are rarely invited to take candid photos of the family because Princes William and Prince Harry “hate paparazzi,” it is claimed.

The brothers have been branded “control freaks” by a former royal photographer, who has lifted the lid on why the family often takes images themselves or uses their own snapper. The ex-employee stressed this approach can “lead to problems,” as encountered by Prince William and Princess Kate after she edited a family snap he took this month. Before she admitted the tweaks, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Getty Images all separately issued a “kill notice” to media organisations around the globe.

But the former royal photographer expressed sympathy to William and Harry and said the siblings have “hated paparazzi” since their mother, Princess Diana’s death in August 1997. She was chased by a press pack through Paris and the car in which she was travelling – to get away from the paparazzi – crashed into a pillar.

“A lot of this has stemmed from William and Harry being control freaks when it comes to pictures of their own children. They grew up hating the paparazzi for chasing Princess Diana around and have had a tendency to tar all royal photographers with the same brush,” the former royal photographer said.

“So, with the odd exception, we no longer see royal photographers – the ones who cover the day-to-day official engagements and all the overseas tours – being invited in to take more candid family photographs. Instead, the royals either photograph their children themselves or choose their own pet photographer to take more intimate shots. And that can sometimes lead to problems.”

The global picture agencies, such as Associated Press (AP), which axed the photo Kate, 42, had edited stress they deal with professionals and are trusted sources. Eric Baradat, a photo director at Agence France-Presse (AFP), has described Kate’s efforts as “really amateur” and pointed out that scrutinising images has now become a key part of his job.

And Martin Keene, a former group picture editor at the Press Association, told The Daily Telegraph: “All picture agencies have truth and accuracy [in] their DNA – it’s something that really matters to them.

“The only thing that they have is their trust and their credibility and they need to know that, for their clients and the people who look at their pictures – the readers, the viewers – that their picture really was what the photographer saw when the picture was taken, and that it hasn’t been manipulated since that time.”

Yet, in the decades since Princess Diana’s death, royals have somewhat taken control of their own imagery. In 2002, a series of four portraits, taken of Queen Elizabeth II at Sandringham House the previous year, was included as part of the portfolio released to celebrate Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee.

But the DailyTelegraph says picture agencies are now investigating two other photographs, including Prince Archie’s official christening picture, taken by fashion photographer Chris Allerton in 2019. Getty said the portrait – showing the two-month-old with Meghan, Prince Harry, King Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Princess Diana’s sisters – had been “digitally enhanced”, a claim Allerton has described as “a load of cobblers”. Getty has since removed the editor’s note it had initially added to the picture.

Kate’s decision to edit her Mother’s Day portrait backfired this month. She has apologised for this, writing on social media: “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing.” The Mirror contacted Kensington Palace for comment.

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