The Daily Telegraph
‘You really did see a crack for a moment’
MARK STEWART, THE QUEEN CRIES AT THE FIELD OF REMEMBRANCE, 2002
I’ve been a royal photographer for about 35 years. I was often in close proximity to Queen Elizabeth when shooting her – a few feet or so.
I was one of two photographers chosen to photograph the late Queen with Pope Jean Paul at the Vatican, and I was squeezed against the wall to photograph them. I’ll never forget it, because the Pope was very ill at the time and she was really going to say goodbye to him. The Pope was leaning heavily on his walking stick, and just before Queen Elizabeth entered the room, he gave the walking stick to an aide. It was a huge privilege to see it.
One of the great privileges of the job is that you get to see the Royal family in every facet. I remember a good set of pictures taken of Queen Elizabeth at the Field of Remembrance the same year the Queen Mother had died, and she was crying – you really did see a crack for a moment. She is only human after all. The other occasion was when her horse Estimate won the Gold Cup in 2013. That was an incredible moment, because everyone at Ascot was roaring their heads off and she was in tears. I don’t even think it was her reaction to winning, but rather her reaction to the crowd and how happy they were.
The late Queen was very shy, and I think that’s why she and Prince Philip were such a good team. There was always a sparkle in her eye when he walked into the room.