Thursday, January 11, 2007
One thing that I believe will set me apart from most of the readers of this esteemed electronic catalogue of moans is that I have been (mildly) threatened by royal security guards.
In the course of my work, I have on two occasions been sent to cover royal visits, once to snap the bumbling heir to the throne and once to secure some pictures of his sister.
On the latter occasion, I was the only member of the press there. Princess Ann arrived in a convoy of black vehicles and with a police escort - this despite the fact that the engagement was not an official public occasion.
I was primed and ready to fill a 96MB digital memory card with as many photographs as my fingers could take.
As I took the image to the left, standing barely two metres from the horse-faced horse rider, a member of the mysterious Special Branch stepped in front of me and stated that: 'You do not take a photograph of a lady when she is removing her jacket.'
Princess Ann is probably amongst the most photographed women in the history of publishing. The paparazzi have taken photographs of her on countless occasions. So why should a photograph of her removing her jacket (which was never going to see the light of day in any medium until now) be so taboo?
Granted, she is no stunner - but the camera doesn't lie.
Anyway, to avoid being drugged and dumped in a nearby loch by MI6, I agreed to take no more photographs until the Princess had removed her jacket. It just seemed a strange demand that I have never quite been able to fathom, although I think it may just have been a bored security guard exerting a little bit of misplaced authority.