Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding photographer almost missed this famous shot

By Meaghan Wray

Aside from the dress, the guest list and the location, wedding photographs are one of the most important elements of any big day – especially a royal one. After all, these are pictures the bride and groom will always remember – along with the public. One of the most iconic photos from Prince William and Kate’s big day in 2011 almost didn't make it into the album!

PHOTOS: Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding album

Royal wedding photographer Hugo Burnand recently opened up to Town and Country about one of the day’s most famous snaps that almost never happened. In the image, the newlyweds are surrounded by their bridesmaids and page boys, and are sitting on the steps in Buckingham Palace’s throne room. But he said a “specific schedule” almost interfered with the shot.

One of Hugo's favourite photos of the day was a spontaneous snap in the Throne Room. Photo: © Getty Images

“We did dress rehearsals with stopwatches using endless staff from Buckingham Palace to fill in as family members, so we knew we had just enough time,” Hugo explained to the glossy. “The Fly Past was at 1:30 p.m. and we couldn’t over run, even by a minute.”

The newlyweds stood on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the fly past. Photo: © LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

But luckily, after spending days testing timing and perfecting the team’s technique, they were able to get the shot Hugo wanted, he revealed. “We finished with three minutes to spare so I asked Catherine if we could do the shot we had talked about previously,” Hugo said. “And she turned to William and said, ‘What do you think?’ And he said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ So in three minutes she sat down on the steps, Sarah Burton put the dress out perfectly, Prince William leant in, the children basically did what they felt was the right thing to do.”

Given the spontaneity of the photo, many of the aspects – from Kate’s hand on William’s knee to the positioning of the kids – was a surprise. “All these things were not directed, but a result of a good relationship with everyone,” he shared. The image couldn’t have ended up more perfect!

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