Why Prince William and Kate Middleton's iconic wedding portraits nearly didn't happen

Prince William and Kate Middleton's iconic wedding portraits nearly didn't happen because of this strange reason that involves jelly beans

Prince William and Kate Middleton's iconic wedding portraits
(Image credit: Chris Jackson / Staff / Getty Images)

A royal photographer has revealed that Prince William and Kate Middleton's iconic wedding portraits were almost a total flop, but thanks to some sweeties, they were a huge success!

It was recently revealed by The Times, that the photographer Hugo Burnand had been selected as the official photographer of King Charles and Queen Camilla when they are crowned during the coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

According to the paper, “Try not to f*** it up," is the photographer's mantra, which he has had to employ on a number of occasions while photographing the Royal Family at important events. 

The Times article read, "Burnand, 59, is no stranger to royal commissions: he took the official wedding pictures for Charles and Camilla in 2005 and William and Kate in 2011, using jelly beans to bribe their young pageboys and bridesmaids."

Marc Silber Photogrpahy Studios, reported that Hugo told Women's Wear Daily that sweeties were the only possible option to keep the young children interested while being photographed for long periods. 

Speaking about the final shot which became the perfect iconic shot that fans know today, Hugo said, "It was the last one we took – and you can imagine everyone anxiously looking at their watches,” he said. “I promised the kids jelly beans and wiggle worms, and it worked out.”

Will and Kate

(Image credit: Getty)

The photographer explained at the time that he spoke to Kate at length about the images he planned to take. He also mentioned that one of Kate Middleton's hobbies is photography, and the Princess took a real interest in his work.

"There were a lot of preliminary meetings and walk-throughs of the Throne Room. Catherine loves photography and is very interested in it. Just how light we wanted the family picture to be became a project for us," Hugo said. "We wanted the room to look like it was flooded with sunlight from a spring morning, filled with glorious light. And we knew we couldn’t count on the weather, so we created it with the flip of a switch."

Hugo explained that they made sure they were fully prepared for these portraits, with a number of spares.“We had spares of everything – cables, lights, cameras, lenses – and spares for the spares," Hugo told Women’s Wear Daily. 

He also explained that the schedule was very tight, with no room for errors, which is why it was so imperative that the children remained focus

"Before the day, we staged dress rehearsals with stand-ins and stop-watches. We knew that if everyone had sprinted back from Westminster Abbey, we would only have had 44 minutes to shoot. In the end, we did everything in 26 minutes," said the photographer.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.