SINCE Diana’s death I have photographed her sons growing into men she would be proud of.
I got fantastic pictures of William and Kate’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011.
After the ceremony, I took some lovely shots of the newlyweds outside Buckingham Palace, which I sent to them and to Catherine’s mum, Carole Middleton.
I also sent a set to the Queen, and a couple of weeks later I was taking pictures of Her Majesty at a school in Windsor when she turned and thanked me for the photos of William and Kate.
As she got in the car, she smiled and added: “Wasn’t it a wonderful day?” She was just like any other proud gran.
The following year I was on a plane with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after their visit to the remote South Pacific island of Tuvalu, where William had been presented with a floral headdress.
On the plane back to Brisbane, I asked the couple if they wanted to see my pictures.
Looking through them, William — who at the time was an RAF search and rescue pilot based in Anglesey — spotted the picture of him wearing the headdress of flowers and asked: “Can you take that one out, Arthur?”
When I enquired why, he said: “The lads in the squadron will take the p**s out of me.” I said: “They can’t do that, you’re the Captain.” William replied: “That won’t stop them!”
It was at that moment I realised William is a normal bloke who will one day make a superb king.
When Meghan Markle first came on the scene I thought she would be a great ambassador for the country.
She had a lot to offer and I thought she would be an asset to Harry in his new royal role.
Yet when it came to their wedding, royal photographers like me were completely ignored.
Not only had I covered William’s wedding but I’d photographed Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah Ferguson and both of Prince Charles’s weddings.
At Harry and Meghan’s wedding I worked all day in Windsor using a very long lens and never got one picture in the paper the next day. That made me a little bit annoyed.
But what really crowned it for me was the birth of their baby.
On behalf of Sun readers, I have covered every royal birth since Diana carried William out of hospital in London in 1982.
When Archie Harrison was born, not only were we banned from taking pictures of the baby but we were also misinformed about the timing of the birth. That all builds up resentment.
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Lately, I have noticed that whenever Harry and Meghan are interviewed, she seems to give all the answers, yet he is a prince of the realm.
My feeling is she needs to work harder and say less. Harry needs to just take a leaf out of his father’s book and Meghan should just copy how Kate does it and they will be OK.
'YOU'RE BARNEY RUBBLE'
By Charles Rae, Royal Editor 1991-2002
I COVERED the royals for 20 years, from the time Diana entered the scene to just after the death of the Queen Mum.
It was brilliant. Loved it. Loved The Sun. I was well paid, but in truth I’d have paid them to do that job. I was so lucky because back then the royals were the biggest show in town.
Diana was priceless. She single-handedly dragged the Royal Family into the 20th Century. She was great fun too – although she was responsible for me being saddled for years with the nickname Barney Rubble.
Whenever we were at a reception she would come over for a chat. She had a real sense of mischief. She loved to gossip and find out tidbits about the royal rat pack, as we reporters were known.
One day she cheekily asked about our nicknames. She laughed about the Daily Mirror’s James Whitaker, dubbed the Big Fat Tomato because of the bright red ski suit he always wore on the slopes.
Then she said: “I’ve got one for you. You remind me of Barney Rubble out of the Flintstones.”
What she meant was Fred Flintstone, because I probably looked more like him. But it stuck. Her death and what followed was the biggest and saddest story I ever had to cover.
I worked as part of the Sun reporting team on 9/11, the Falklands, the fall of Communism – but that week was the most dramatic I ever experienced.
I didn’t get any sleep. I was invited to the funeral at Westminster Abbey. Thousands of people lined the streets but there was a solemn hush everywhere. Complete reverence.
My seat was two rows behind the Fayeds and opposite the Royal Family, with the casket in the middle. So I had a good view of everything.
It was such a moving, emotional experience. After the service I walked along the street and found a quiet corner. I just broke down in tears.
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