A win­dow into the world of Wind­sor, Chris Jack­son cap­tures his­tory in the mak­ing

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - This Week -

When Prince Harry last toured New Zealand back in 2015, he gave a can­did in­ter­view ad­mit­ting how he longed to find a part­ner to “share the pres­sure” of royal life with.

Three years on, he’s set to bring his new wife, the Duchess of Sus­sex, to Aotearoa, and royal pho­tog­ra­pher Chris Jack­son tells Woman’s Day there’s no doubt we’ll be see­ing a much hap­pier Harry when he and Meghan touch down in Welling­ton on Oc­to­ber 28.

“There’s a whole new dy­namic to Harry now,” tells the Lon­don-based pho­tog­ra­pher, who will be join­ing the roy­als on their tour of NZ, Aus­tralia, Fiji and Tonga. “To have some­one by your side when you travel to the other side of the world is ob­vi­ously a won­der­ful thing and there’s no doubt he’ll en­joy hav­ing Meghan with him. It’s

some­one to bounce ideas off, to share all those amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences with. Ev­ery­one works bet­ter as a team, and I can imag­ine Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sus­sex are in­cred­i­bly ex­cited about com­ing down here again.”

It’ll be the fifth trip to our shores for Chris, 38, who has spent the past 15 years at the royal fam­ily’s side, doc­u­ment­ing their ev­ery move for the world’s big­gest photo agency, Getty.

From mo­men­tous events such as tours, wed­dings and ba­bies, to the more ev­ery­day as­pects of royal life, Chris’ iconic im­ages have ap­peared on front pages of news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines all over the world. He’s trav­elled to more than 100 coun­tries and burned through five pass­ports in that time.

“I ab­so­lutely love my job,” he says, speak­ing to Woman’s Day over the phone from Lon­don. “It’s chal­leng­ing and de­mand­ing, but it’s also an enor­mous priv­i­lege and an hon­our. I’m cre­at­ing a unique ar­chive of the Bri­tish royal fam­ily and pro­duc­ing im­ages that will hope­fully be looked at for hun­dreds of years to come.”

Now, around 100 of his favourite im­ages are set to be pub­lished in a new book ti­tled Mod­ern Monar­chy: The Bri­tish Royal Fam­ily To­day. He’s spent a year and a half work­ing on the gor­geous tome, sort­ing through thou­sands of pho­tos to se­lect his favourites – in­clud­ing sev­eral from tours of Aotearoa.

“There are def­i­nitely a few hongi in there!” he says. “I’m

very proud of the book. I see it as a real cel­e­bra­tion of the royal fam­ily.”

Over the years, Chris has be­come a trusted royal ally. As well as pho­tograph­ing the pub­lic oc­ca­sions, he’s reg­u­larly in­vited to doc­u­ment pri­vate mo­ments – most re­cently pro­duc­ing the por­trait of Prince Ge­orge to mark his fifth birth­day.

Royal ro­mance

He’s met world lead­ers, in­clud­ing for­mer US pres­i­dent Barack Obama, and celebri­ties such as An­gelina Jolie and David Beck­ham – not to men­tion count­less fas­ci­nat­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic from around the globe.

His amaz­ing job also led him to his wife Natasha Archer, who hap­pens to be the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s PA-turned-stylist. The jet-set­ting pair are set to wel­come their first child to­gether in De­cem­ber, but un­sur­pris­ingly, dis­cre­tion is key when it comes to both their oc­cu­pa­tions.

“I can’t re­ally say much about that,” he laughs po­litely when asked about his wife’s fas­ci­nat­ing job. Natasha, who be­gan as an as­sis­tant to Kate and Prince Wil­liam in 2007, is known to be one of the duchess’ clos­est con­fi­dantes – in fact, she was the first non­fam­ily mem­ber to visit St Mary’s Hos­pi­tal af­ter the birth of Prince Louis in April. At the time, Chris was sta­tioned out­side, ready to snap the new­est royal.

While he’s been front row at ev­ery ma­jor royal event in re­cent his­tory – in­clud­ing Wil­liam and Kate’s his­toric 2011 wed­ding, and Harry and Meghan’s nup­tials in May – it’s the qui­eter mo­ments that he re­ally loves cap­tur­ing. His image of lit­tle Ge­orge play­ing with bub­bles at a chil­dren’s party in Canada is a par­tic­u­lar favourite.

“He has a great char­ac­ter and cap­tur­ing a can­did mo­ment like that is al­ways nice. I just love that child­like ex­cite­ment on his face.” And pho­tograph­ing the Queen is al­ways spe­cial, he says. “She has such an aura and a pres­ence and around her, so I al­ways look for­ward to pho­tograph­ing her. She’s an icon.”

But many of Chris’ best royal mem­o­ries come from be­ing in Africa with Harry, who es­tab­lished a char­ity in 2006 to help vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in the tiny coun­try of Le­sotho. He trav­els there of­ten, usu­ally with Chris in tow.

“It’s some­where that Harry feels very much at home, so you get very re­laxed im­ages. He is so pas­sion­ate about the place and the peo­ple, and I feel in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged

that I have been able to be a part of that too. Wak­ing up in the moun­tains in Le­sotho is amaz­ing. It’s an in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful place and you can’t help but feel you’re part of some­thing very spe­cial.”

Chris tells us he has seen the royal fam­ily change enor­mously over the past 15 years and that he has rel­ished wit­ness­ing first-hand the rise of the new gen­er­a­tion.

“It’s cer­tainly a fam­ily in

tran­si­tion as the Queen hands h over some of her du­ties to the younger mem­bers,” he h ex­plains. “While still re­spect­ing the tra­di­tions, we’re w see­ing the younger mem­bers lift some of the for­mal­ity and em­brace a dif­fer­ent way of do­ing things. They’re T cer­tainly us­ing mod­ern things like so­cial me­dia, which is i an in­cred­i­bly use­ful tool for con­nect­ing with peo­ple and get­ting their mes­sages out. The T Queen is an in­cred­i­ble fig­ure­head, but they are cer­tainly driv­ing towards a very mod­ern monar­chy.”

It’s all go!

With Kate and Wil­liam busier than ever jug­gling royal duty and their three young chil­dren, Chris says Harry and Meghan are happy to be out there at pub­lic events as much as pos­si­ble.

“Like the Queen once said, ‘You have to be seen to be be­lieved.’ And what’s im­por­tant and in­te­gral to the younger ones is to get out there and be seen. Harry and Meghan are very aware of the in­cred­i­ble power they have to shine the light on cer­tain char­i­ties and causes, and they’re de­ter­mined to use that to make a dif­fer­ence.”

This year has been a

par­tic­u­larly busy one for Chris and the roy­als – and there’s still Princess Eu­ge­nie’s wed­ding on Oc­to­ber 12, fol­lowed by the tour Down Un­der. Af­ter that, it’s back to the UK for Prince Charles’ 70th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions. Even af­ter 15 years, Chris ad­mits he still suf­fers nerves be­fore cer­tain big events.

“Some­times you get the re­al­i­sa­tion that if you mess up and miss the shot, that’s it – you don’t get an­other chance. Prepa­ra­tion is key.”

And with just a few months be­fore he be­comes a father for the first time, Chris tells us he’s hope­ful his in­cred­i­ble work­ing life won’t change too much.

“Can a baby come on a royal tour? Sure, why not?!”

De­spite suf­fer­ing nerves be­fore big events like royal wed­dings, Chris still man­ages to get shots wor­thy of the front page. This mag­i­cal pic­ture of Ge­orge at a party in Canada is one of Chris’ per­sonal favourites. “I just love that child­like ex­cite­ment on his face.”

“You can’t help but feel you’re part of some­thing very spe­cial,” Chris re­veals of the princes’ char­ity work in Le­sotho. “The Queen has such an aura and a pp­res­ence around her,” Chris says of ppho­tograph­ing the royal ma­tri­arch.

Chris has been cap­tur­ing the lives of the royal fam­ily for the past 15 years.

Chris has trav­elled around the world for his job, in­clud­ing to New Zealand with Wil­liam (above), Ger­many with Beatrice and Eu­ge­nie (right), and nu­mer­ous vis­its to Le­sotho with Harry.


We are amused! Chris is hon­oured he’s able to cap­ture can­did shots such as this glimpse of Prince Philip, the Queen, Charles and the Duchess of Corn­wall watch­ing a tug-of-war game in Scot­land in 2006. “There’s some­thing spe­cial about be­ing there for those first mo­ments,” Chris says of Ge­orge start­ing school and Char­lotte re­ceiv­ing a bou­quet from a fan (right). Of join­ing the royal new­ly­weds on their tour this month, the pho­tog­ra­pher re­veals, “Harry will en­joy hav­ing Meghan by his side to share those ex­pe­ri­ences with.”

Chris has met many amaz­ing peo­ple through his work, in­clud­ing his wife Natasha (right).

ModernMonar­chy by Chris Jack­son (Riz­zoli Books) on sale No­vem­ber 1.

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