Queen Elizabeth “combines a regal bearing with an incredible sense of modesty”, according to her official photographer.
John Swannell photographed the British monarch for her Golden Jubilee and again for her forthcoming Diamond Jubilee, and he admires her for her sense of duty and professionalism.
He explained: “What I love about photographing the queen is that she combines a regal bearing with an incredible sense of modesty. Make no mistake about it, when she walks into a room she projects a tremendous presence. Everybody steps back a pace, instinctively. I always bow to her, and so do my assistants, but she never insists upon it, or remarks upon it if somebody doesn’t.”
John had a whole hour for the photos, and it gave him a number of insights into the monarch and royal protocol.
He added: “You certainly don’t make the mistake of telling her what to do. The first time I took pictures of her, it was made clear to me that ‘Her Majesty doesn’t smile on cue, she smiles when she wants to smile’.”
John also gave an insight into the table tennis skills of the younger monarchs, Princes William and Harry, as he has a table to practice on between shots.
He added: “I’d got a table tennis table into the studio, for something to do between shots, and though I beat William, I lost every time to Harry.”

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