The Queen's photographer has opened up about what Her Majesty is really like

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There is a lot of pressure that comes with being an official royal photographer, which is why it's always refreshing to hear first hand how down-to-earth their subjects are.

In the past, we've been told what it's like to snap Kate Middleton, and the story behind that iconic Prince William and Meghan Markle photo.

Now Henry Dallal, the man behind the Queen's birthday picture, in which she posed in the gardens of Windsor Castle with two of her beautiful white horses, has revealed what happened on the day.

He told OK! magazine, 'It was a huge honour. Obviously, it’s a huge occasion for me. It’s a huge honour and it’s always very special to be within Windsor Castle and with Her Majesty.'

'But, at some point, my focus becomes "take a good picture". My focus becomes, "What do I do to get the best photograph possible?" In terms of the lighting, the composition, and also, the biggest challenge, is to make sure the four-legged friends are also smiling at the same time and looking at you', he revealed.

One person he did not have to remind to smile though was Her Majesty, who is always jovial, according to Henry: 'But you never have to tell the Queen to smile.'

He added that she was in high spirits on the day the photo was taken in March, 'She was very nice, very friendly, very pleasant, and enjoyed the occasion. She loved being outside with daffodils everywhere, with the magnolia blossom, and with her horses.'

Having photographed her on several occasion, Henry confirmed this wasn't a one off.

'It’s always pleasant. It’s very relaxed. We take the picture rather swiftly, and afterwards, she stays a little longer to see everyone and be with her horses,' he added.

Well that's lovely to hear.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.