Words by Maisie Bovingdon
Kate Middleton and Prince William celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary today, and to mark the milestone Kensington Palace released a string of images from their special day in 2011.
However, one of the iconic official portraits nearly never happened.
Photographer Hugo Burnand set up the photoshoot in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace three days before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s marital ceremony to ensure everything ran smoothly, they did dress rehearsals to get an idea of the time limits he was working with, and on the day he recruited the help of his mother to ensure not a thing went wrong on the day.
The photography session ran smoothly thanks to Hugo and his parent bribing Kate and William’s young bridesmaids and pageboys with jelly beans to ensure they sat still and not a minute was wasted.
Speaking to Town and Country, Hugo said: ‘The prep also involved meticulous time-keeping. We did dress rehearsals with stopwatches using endless staff from Buckingham Palace to fill in as family members, so we knew we had just enough time. The Fly Past was at 1:30 p.m. and we couldn’t over run, even by a minute.’
The shoot had almost wrapped but Hugo wanted to take one last shot he had previously described with Kate, but there were no sweets left, so he feared his vision wouldn’t become a reality.
He explained: ‘We finished with three minutes to spare so I asked Catherine if we could do the shot we had talked about previously. And she turned to William and said, “What do you think?” And he said, “Let’s go for it.”‘
With Kate and William’s permission Hugo was able to capture the heartwarming, natural, yet informal picture, which sees Catherine sitting on the floor, with her hand lovingly placed on William’s leg, while the youngsters did what they wanted, some leaning in closer to the bride and groom all beaming with joy, all without the direction of Hugo.
He added: ‘That was a very spontaneous picture. That little detail there [points to Kate’s hand touching William’s knee] and William leaning in there, all these things were not directed, but a result of a good relationship with everyone.’
Never underestimate the power of a jelly bean!