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Tim Rooke, royal photographer
Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you’re a royal photographer

By Time Out London contributor

…according to Tim Rooke.

Travel is a big perk of royal-snapping…

‘When I first started my career, I saw how the photographers covering the royals were able to travel all over the world with the family. Travel and photography are the two things that I love, so I started doing more royal photography for Rex Features, and by mid-1991, I had become their main royal photographer. I travelled with Princess Diana to countries such as Angola, Bosnia and Australia. With the Queen, I’ve been to Australia, South Africa, Canada, Thailand and Ireland – to name a few.’

…but you don’t get to hobnob

‘As a photographer, I don’t have personal relationships with the Royal Family, even though I am around them quite often. It can be challenging on some of the bigger tours where there are a lot of members of the public: capturing the perfect shot of the royals is hard, as you can’t always predict where they may walk or what will capture their attention. Plus, a lot of the time, the position I’m assigned to stand is completely random.’

Some photos have a strange afterlife

‘There’s a photograph I took of Princess Diana and her butler, Paul Burrell, at Sarajevo Airport a few weeks before she died. Initially I was annoyed that her butler was in the picture, because it was always best to have her on her own. But after Burrell went on trial in 2002 charged with theft of her goods, this was one of the only pictures of the two of them together. It became Rex’s biggest-selling picture that year.’

It’s hard to snap Harry or Meghan alone

‘This’ll be the third big royal wedding I’ll have photographed, professionally speaking. I’m hoping to capture a clean shot of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle coming out of the church – virtually the same one that I took of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. It’s been hard for me to capture a picture of either of them alone because they’re always holding hands!’ Interview by Joe Gamp

Check out Tim’s latest royal photography via Shutterstock.

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