Pregnant Kate Middleton“s due date is hot on everyone”s lips, with the royal baby expected to be born next month. Is it a boy or a girl What name will he or she take What will the nursery look like
When Prince William and Kate”s baby arrives, no doubt the paparazzi will be camping outside the hospital in hope of snapping the first shot of Baby Cambridge.
Royal photographer Ian Pelham-Turner, however, has been lucky enough to foster a close relationship with the royal family, and has worked with four generations.
He was commissioned to take the first official photographs of baby Prince William with parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, back in 1982.
Speaking about the challenge of photographing royal babies, Ian said, “They”re just like normal children. You have to make it fun for them.
“When I worked for ! I always took the yawning shot,” he laughed. “That was the ! shot of the time, and I think I got one of William.
“More than anything, it”s about treating the royal family with respect and professionalism. I never intruded into their private lives even if there was opportunity to do so. A lot of the time they”re very shy people, so you just talk to them quietly and they love that.”
Traditionally, royal babies are usually not photographed until they are three or four months old when they have grown into their looks. All details about William and Kate”s baby have been kept under lock, but Ian could give a few comments.
“I don’t think the formality of older generations will be seen in William and Kate”s photographs, but it depends who”s shooting it and how it”s done,” he said. “They”re just two, very normal people.”
“Kate is going to bring a lot of extra emphasis on her children being brought up in a happy environment. She didn’t have a very good, happy childhood herself at school so I think she”ll have a big say on how the royal children will be schooled.
“I think she will bring an extra normality to the royal family, alongside the Duchess of Cornwall. They”re both seen as bringing fresh influence and insight into royal children and royal behaviour.”
Despite speculation about lavish preparations for the nursery, Ian thinks differently.
“My feeling is that the baby will have a normal nursery and a normal childhood. I think during these austere times, William and Kate are very conscious of the fact that their children should be brought up normally.”
His favourite shot of Kate, which now hangs in the National Portrait Galllery, was taken by a Portuguese photographer from his team, Da Maia.
“I think it”s the most fabulous photograph. She”s so thoughtful in this picture and it obviously must be a pensive time for any mother,” he said. “We noticed at the Queen”s Coronation anniversary how she was hiding. She only came out to do a quick shot for the photographers then went straight back in again.”
Unlike the official photographs Ian is used to taking, he has stumbled across a few treasures, one of them a mysterious photo of the Queen.
“We found a postcard in an antique book shop of the young Princess Elizabeth. She was about three years old, building sandcastles at the family”s Craigwell House in Bognor,” he said.
“The interesting question is how did someone get into the garden to take a photograph of the young princess It can”t be a paparazzi photograph because there was no such thing at the time, so how were they allowed to take it”
After investigating, Ian discovered the photo was taken by photographer Fred King, who died in the 1930s, but the context of the photograph is still being investigated.
Members of the public can view this endearing photograph of the Queen, along with over forty rarely seen photos of the royal children from Victorian times to present day, in an exhibition at the athenaeum hotel entitled “The Royal Child”. Afternoon tea will be served while guests can admire the photographs.