Royal Photographer Fondly Remembers ‘Warm’ Princess Diana
Photographer Tim Rooke has fond memories of capturing moments of the late Princess Diana — including her subtle way of always securing a special shot.
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“Often, what we do can be very boring. It can be someone walking from a car into a doorway. … What the Princess of Wales used to do, she would always just turn before she went into the building, so she’d just look at you at the last second, and it always produced great pictures,” Rooke explained exclusively to Us Weekly on an episode of Royally Us. “I think I did a picture of her, it was on her 36th birthday, which sadly was her last birthday, and she went to the Tate Gallery and there was a reception. She just turned, just before she went in, and it made an absolutely great picture. Whereas now, the younger royals do it slightly differently. They tend to talk to the person that’s greeting them, which is, of course only polite, but of course, with her, it was great because you always knew you’d get a picture.”
Rooke has photographed Prince Charles, Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but has special memories of the late princess.
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“She was a very warm person,” he said. “She was great to photograph.”
After Diana’s death in 1997, Rooke continued to photograph Charles, now 71.
“I spent years photographing the Prince of Wales, particularly after Princess Diana died,” he explained. “He’s actually great for taking pictures with. He’ll put hats on and do all sorts of things.”
He has vivid memories of a trip to Jamaica with Charles, which included a photo-op with Bob Marley’s widow.
Princess Diana in August 1997 in Bosnia. Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
“We went to visit Bob Marley’s house in Jamaica, and he was met by Rita Marley. She presented him with a rasta hat with dreadlocks and he put it on the wrong way round. We all missed the picture the first time, and he did it three times,” Rooke explained. “All three times, he put it on the wrong way round, but he doesn’t do it deliberately and he doesn’t like to pose, but he’s very good.”
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He added that Duchess Camilla often steps in.
“The duchess will get the prince to stop when he wouldn’t normally stop, because she’s more aware of us. She’s more aware of the photographers and she always chats to you and says, hello,” he noted. “It’s great. They are great together.”
For more from Rooke, including details of photographing William and Kate and Harry and Meghan’s weddings, watch the latest episode of Royally Us!