The Queen didn't like this part of her body and tried to hide it in photos, royal photographer reveals

A photographer who snapped the Queen for her Golden Jubilee has revealed that the Queen didn't like this part of her body

Queen didn't like this part of her body
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen didn't like a certain part of her body, and would ocassionally insist that the photographers kept that in mind while asking her to pose for them.

British Photographer, John Rankin Waddell, who is known best as Rankin, has revealed that after photographing the Queen for her Golden Jubilee in 2002, he learned about her unique insecurity.

In an interview with the Tea with Twiggy podcast, hosted by the British supermodel Twiggy, the photographer reminisced as he recalled meeting the Queen. "Of course, she came in and this wave of empowerment washes over you," he began. "I’ve never felt that aura and she was just so funny from the minute she walked in." 

The photographer then made a suggestion about poses to Her Majesty, but was immediately shut down as she revealed she felt insecure about a certain body part. "I was like, ‘I really want to photograph you holding the sword,’ and she said, ‘I don’t like my hands.’ [I thought] that’s the best ‘get out’ for holding the sword," said Rankin. 

"I’m probably not supposed to say that, but what I loved about her is she’s so smart and everything in response that she was saying had this amazing twist to it. It was just really, really brilliant. I loved it — I spent five minutes with her, so I don’t know her intimately," he added.

The photographer then revealed that he decided to get a natural snap of the Queen after catching her laughing. "I was in the throne room and she was walking down this corridor and I could see her and the footman walking. They were both laughing, just cracking up, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want.’ So that was in my head the whole time," he said.

Rankin then revealed that the Queen loved his photograph and called the final shot one of her 'favourites' - which is high praise from one of the most photographed women in the world. "I got a really amazing note where the curator said my photograph of her is one of their favourites - which I think means the Palace’s favourite - because she’s really laughing in my picture," said Rankin.


(Image credit: Darren Gerrish / Contributor / Getty Images)

In a post on social media, the photographer told the story in more detail and revealed, "When we started shooting, I thought, wow, I’m getting gold. She’s really looking through the lens, which later I realised was just the way she looked. It’s powerful, but nothing different from any other photograph of her."

"Suddenly a piece of my equipment fell out of my camera, the sync lead which makes the flash sync with the camera shutter. I was silently willing my assistant to fix it and between the two things I believe she found the situation kind of comic and laughed. I missed it completely, but once I’d seen that smile - that was it. I started, almost like Austin Powers, 'Ma’am, can you smile please Ma’am, Ma’am can you smile please’ & kept repeating it till she smiled once, did a massive grin, which became the shot, then a smaller smile. 3 frames out of 100," said Rankin.

Ultimately the image was not selected, but the photographer revealed that it was still released by the Royal Family. "My photograph of the Queen was rejected at the time, however, two months later, they released it as one of the previously unseen photographs," said Rankin.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

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