The Story Behind the Royal Wedding Photograph That Some People Are Calling "Princess Diana's View"
Of all the thousands of photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, one stood out. Taken directly from above, the image shows the new bride and groom holding hands on their carriage ride around Windsor.
Some, are calling the picture "Princess Diana's view" of her son Harry's big day.
We spoke to Press Association photographer Yui Mok about his experience at the royal wedding, how he got that iconic overhead shot, and why he thinks it quickly became everyone's favorite image of the day.
HIS ASSIGNMENT WAS TO TAKE CROWD AND ATMOSPHERE SHOTS:
"As one of a team of 22 or so Press Association photographers, I was assigned by our Picture Editor Martin Keene—who masterminded the whole photography operation for the wedding—to a position on top of the George IV Gateway, which overlooks the entirety of the Long Walk.
It’s the kind of photograph you take once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky.
"The initial plan was for me to capture the carriage procession making its way along the Long Walk, flanked by the many thousands of well-wishers who had lined the route. It would make for a marvelous general view, or what we photographers call a 'GV,' showing an overview of the turnout, the color, and the scale of the occasion. My photos were to provide atmospheric support to the key shots that my colleagues—in various other positions in and around Windsor Castle—would be shooting."
A 'GV' shot of the carriage procession.
IT TURNS OUT TO BE THE PERFECT POSITION FOR THE ICONIC SHOT:
"I was escorted up on the George IV Gateway shortly after 8 a.m., and remained in that spot until the carriage procession finished, shortly after 1.30 p.m.
"As the newly-married couple started down the Long Walk, I proceeded to take the GVs that I needed using a very long Canon 600 mm lens, with the carriage framed by the crowd either side. The distance was far too great to actually see the couple in their carriage at this point, and it was only until they passed the Castle gate and left the throngs of
"As they kept coming toward me I had a mere minute or so left of shooting opportunity before they would disappear out of my sight.
"I had noticed earlier that there were a couple of portholes covered with metal grilles on the floor where I stood, through which you could see directly to the ground below. I had seen various vehicles underneath me during the time spent
Thanks, glad you like the photo. It was taken by myself, and I'm a staff photographer for @PA based in the UK. I was positioned on the roof of George IV Gateway of Windsor Castle, and they passed directly beneath me during their carriage procession. https://t.co/hkzViNhSbb— Yui Mok (@YuiMok) May 19, 2018
"When the carriage was almost upon me, I shot all I could with the long lens, and quickly switched to my other camera with no time to spare, pushing the edge of the lens tight against the edge of the metal grille.
"The carriage took less than a second to pass underneath me, and in that time I had managed to shoot five frames, one of which would end up as one of the most memorable photos of the whole wedding. Of course, had the carriage driven a foot or so either side of my viewpoint, there wouldn’t have been a picture."
"There was a lot of luck, coupled with judgment and risk, involved in the making of this image, but often in photography that’s how the most memorable photographs come about!"
WHY THE PICTURE IS RESONATING WITH SO MANY PEOPLE:
"I think it's resonating because it is such an unusual angle of the couple, one so different from the many thousands of other pictures taken from that day. Maybe people see this as a more intimate moment, the fact that you can see them holding hands. From this overhead view they remain faceless, but maybe that means people can project whatever emotions they feel onto them, or it adds that little element of mystery.
"I’ve also seen people on social media referring to this view as 'Diana’s View,' which has since become a hashtag. Clearly, Princess Diana resonates so strongly with so many people, especially on the day of her son’s marriage."
ON THE HEART SHAPE SOME PEOPLE SEE IN THE PHOTO:
"I honestly didn't notice at the time—being as concentrated as I was on the timing of the carriage passing underneath me—but many people have seen the bride and groom's bodies forming the rough shape of a heart in the photograph, symbolizing the love they have for each other."
? Love and marriage, love and marriage, Go together like a horse and carriage ? A view of the happy couple from the top of the George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle. #PrinceHarry #MeghanMarkle #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/PmSL9E9iud— Yui Mok (@YuiMok) May 19, 2018
HOW THE WEDDING WAS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER ROYAL OCCASIONS:
"There was one essential difference, in that it was probably the first time in my 18-year career at the Press Association that I’ve shot a royal job from such an isolated position. The fact that I was on a very specific mission, and that I would see no other people, royal or otherwise throughout the day, apart from Prince Harry and Meghan, meant my entire focus would be on them.
"In some ways, it made for a more relaxing job, but in other
ON TAKING A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PHOTO:
"In general, I felt a huge sense of relief when the job was done, insofar as nothing went awry, I encountered no technical hitches, and I came away with the bonus of a very unusual, serendipitous photograph that subsequently has touched and moved millions of people around the world. It’s the kind of photograph you take once in a
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.