To celebrate the Queen’s record-breaking long service today, here are a few of my pictures from the Royal Maundy at Derby Cathedral in 2010 (see gallery below). This main pic is my favourite image from the day, a shot no other photographer got.
Having stepped into the Royal limousine, off she went down the street to the Cathedral Quarter Hotel and I panned the camera as she went by, shooting several frames. This one was reasonably sharp and. better still, she has a beaming smile and you get a feel of the excitement of the crowd with their flags fluttering,hands waving and cameras snapping. Look at the bottom of the image and there’s the reflection of another photographer. So maybe I wasn’t the only photographer to get this image!
This was the biggest job of my career and, as you might expect, an anxious shoot: I was Derby Cathedral’s official photographer for this historic occasion. Messing up was not an option.
To be honest, this wasn’t my kind of work: this was press photography; and much more pressurised than wedding photography. At least during a wedding you can say to the groom: ‘can you kiss the bride again? I didn’t quite get the shot.’ But you can hardly say: ‘Your Majesty, can you step into the light here to shake hands with the Bishop?’
In the end, I got the pictures (with a lot of help from my assistant Ian Daisley who is now an even more successful pro than me) and was instrumental in the publishing of a souvenir brochure of the day. Basically, it was my idea and I earned nothing from it but I can hardly complain: I was well paid and it galvanised my career. I was engaged to shoot Princess Anne and Prince Charles in the next year when they visited Derby, plus Prince Edward when he came to Heage Windmill. After that, I was half expecting a call from William and Kate to ask: ‘will you shoot our wedding?’ That way, I would have completed the set.
By the way, I still can’t believe my good fortune: it rained the day before and the day after.