The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - — In­ter­view by Jes­sica Carpani hugo­foto.com

Royal pho­tog­ra­pher Hugo Bur­nand

I HAVE TAKEN pic­tures of var­i­ous mem­bers of the Royal fam­ily, but un­til this point, I hadn’t pho­tographed Troop­ing the Colour be­fore. I’d only wit­nessed it as a tourist.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony there’s a bit of fam­ily time for the roy­als to look af­ter their horses within the quad of Buck­ing­ham Palace. I be­lieve I was the first per­son to be given per­mis­sion to pho­to­graph within the quad. It’s a very for­mal day and I wanted the jux­ta­po­si­tion of that and the hu­man side, the fam­ily side.

The type of horses rid­den for the troop­ing are called charg­ers, and the Prince of Wales’s charger is Ge­orge – he was 17 years old when I took this pic­ture. He was a gift to the Queen from the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice, and he has been the Prince’s charger for 10 years.

Here, Ge­orge is be­ing re­warded for all his hard work with some car­rots. I quite wanted to give the horses a few, too – I have rid­den since I was about three, so was very com­fort­able around them, and that def­i­nitely helped. This par­tic­u­lar day was an ab­so­lute scorcher, mag­ni­fied by the heavy uni­forms and sad­dlery that are worn on such oc­ca­sions. I was in a suit and tie with a cam­era strap around my neck and that was enough for me.

I have worked for the Prince since 2005, and we have built up a trust. He is happy for me to try new ideas, such as this ‘be­hind the scenes’ shot. Some of the most suc­cess­ful pic­tures oc­cur when you step out­side a strict brief. That hap­pened 10 years ago when I took for­mal pho­to­graphs of the Prince in his Welsh Guards uni­form. Af­ter the shoot, we dis­cussed that it might be more fun to do an in­for­mal pic­ture; I might even have re­ferred to it as a ‘forthe-hell-of-it-shot’. That pho­to­graph be­came his of­fi­cial 60th-birth­day por­trait.

The first time I of­fi­cially pho­tographed him was at Wind­sor Cas­tle for his wed­ding to Camilla Parker Bowles. It was very spe­cial. The Prince ob­vi­ously liked the re­sults be­cause he asked me pri­vately to do fur­ther work for him, and I went on to pho­to­graph the young princes, and then the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s wed­ding. I’ve got four chil­dren and when they’re sit­ting their ex­ams, I al­ways say it re­ally makes a dif­fer­ence if you pre­pare. The same ap­plies to pho­tog­ra­phy. For this photo I was there quite early, I knew the ter­ri­tory, I was fa­mil­iar with my cam­era (and its spare, both Canons) and I got as much lo­cal in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble.

With the Duke and Duchess’s wed­ding, which was a big­ger and more pub­lic af­fair, we spent three days in the throne room at Buck­ing­ham Palace check­ing the light­ing and the space. We got spares for all the equip­ment and spares for the spares. We did a timed dress re­hearsal with stand-ins, so we knew how long ev­ery­thing would take. (Some of the stand-ins even pre­tended to be small chil­dren.) Af­ter go­ing through it so metic­u­lously, there comes a day when you’re not ner­vous, just ex­cited.

Be­fore meet­ing the Prince I had an idea of him through know­ing Camilla, Duchess of Corn­wall, but when I met him I re­alised what a gen­tle­man he is, so kind and well man­nered, very thought­ful and with fan­tas­tic em­pa­thy. It is com­fort­ing to be deal­ing with some­one who is so very hu­man.

The Price of Wales’s charger is called Ge­orge. Here he is be­ing re­warded with some car­rots

The Prince of Wales with his charger, Ge­orge, af­ter Troop­ing the Colour in June 2017

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