“What are you doing on Saturday 19th?”
That was the opening line over a Sunday lunch with friends one afternoon. At the time we didn’t realise it would the end of a crazy mad 8 days of photography for me.
We, that is myself & Mrs S were very lucky to have been invited to a party by friends that live on the Long Walk in Windsor. Their house had a prime spot on the route for The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. “Bring your camera with you….I’m sure you’ll get a nice photo or 2!!” Well, it would be rude not to…wouldn’t it 🙂
I had kept an ear on TV & radio reports in the run up to Saturday. Windsor was quite clearly going to be packed with estimates of more than 120,000 people lining the route. To be safe we caught the 7am train to be sure of getting in to Windsor with time to spare. It was a good move & on the walk to the house we could see plenty of people were in position early. Once we arrived, I quickly set up & checked the view point to lock in my camera settings. It wasn’t a bad spot was it?
We then had time to chill. Help prepare food & maybe a cheeky glass in readiness before we watched the build up on TV. It’s quite surreal being in middle of such a big event & watching it live on TV all around you. It was funny watching Prince Harry & Megan say their vows & listening to the cheers of the crowd at the end of the garden watching it on the huge screens. Before long it was time to take up my position on the balcony…they were leave St Georges Chapel.
The crowds twitched below me in expectation. Then up at the corner, to a Mexican Wave of cheering & Union flags, the lead troops of the Household Cavalry came into view. My view of the newly weds was totally blocked. I now knew I would only have a few seconds as they made the slight right bend in the road.
Sure enough the cavalry lead the way around the bend & Prince Harry & Megan finally came into view. I fired of a burst of frames, at almost 11 frames per second!! Thank goodness the Nikon D4 is built with Press & Sports photographers in mind.
Then a magic moment I had hoped for. Prince Harry spotted something or somebody on a balcony & pointed it out to his new bride.
Megan noticed it (I heard it might have been a dog wearing a wedding veil fancy dress outfit) & her reaction was a photographer’s dream.
As the carriage continued along the road, I quickly repositioned so I could track them from the side now. Another quick burst of frames & I captured my favourite image of the day.
In literally seconds (34 to be exact looking at my data) they were passed me & heading down towards Albert Road. I had a few moments to get off the balcony & into the 2nd position I had recced earlier that morning. I wasn’t sure how it would look until they actually came up The Long Walk. I thought it might be a nice image to see all the cheering crowds in the foreground as the came by in the carriage… I think it worked out quite well in the end.
What a week…
7 days earlier I had been trackside at probably the most iconic race circuit in the world. Achieving a lifetime ambition to see F1 cars on this track. Working as a motorsport photographer at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. I flew back into Heathrow on the Monday & got straight into finishing the editing of what ended up being over 6000 images!! A small gallery from the final collection can be seen by just clicking here.
On Thursday I had attended Richmond Park to photograph the planting ceremonies of 6 sponsored Elm Trees. It was a very pleasant surprise when I found out a few days before that 1 of the trees was sponsored by Sir David Attenborough.
So, Monaco Historic Grand Prix…. Sir David Attenborough ….. & now hanging off a balcony at The Royal Wedding!! Not a bad week as a snapper I’d say.