Last week, the royal family gathered at Westminster Abbey for the memorial service of Prince Philip.
The Duke of Edinburgh sadly passed away in April 2021 at the age of 99, and the church was filled with those who wished to pay their respects to the late royal. While it was not confirmed whether the Queen would be able to attend due to a number of recent health concerns, she was said to be ‘determined’ to be there and sat at the front of the congregation alongside Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
The monarch wore a green coat which was a touching tribute to her husband, and was joined by her children and some of her grandchildren. Prince William and Kate Middleton decided against bringing their youngest child, Prince Louis, but royal fans spotted a sweet moment when the Duchess of Cambridge comforted her daughter, Princess Charlotte, after realising she appeared nervous.
The monarch surprised many when she entered the church alongside her son, Prince Andrew, who continued to escort her to her seat. According to the official program, he was supposed to walk down the aisle with his daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, but this changed on the day.
Now, the royal photographer who captured the moment has revealed that the Palace requested no photos of the Queen entering the abbey.
Richard Pohle wrote in The Times that he was under strict instruction not to take pictures when the monarch walked to her seat, although he felt that as the only official photographer there, and considering it was already being broadcast on the BBC, it should be documented.
He later found out that Prince Andrew would be escorting the Queen, and knew that this would be news in itself due to the fact that the Duke of York recently settled a £9m sexual assault lawsuit in the US and in January the Palace issued a statement confirming that his ‘military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.’
Pohle reportedly told Palace press officers that he ‘absolutely needed to photograph this’ as ‘the arrival of the Queen was now the major news event’, and staff eventually accepted.
The decision reportedly didn’t sit well with Prince Charles and Prince William – who thought it was ‘simply unnecessary’ – but the Queen had the final say, with a source telling The Telegraph: ‘As the Queen herself has often said: “Sometimes people need to remember I have four children. We are a family.”‘