Why this iconic royal wedding picture almost never happened

Today marks Prince William and Kate Middleton’s eighth anniversary, and the pair, along with many in the UK, are no doubt currently thinking back to the day of that royal wedding.

From where you watched the wedding to the first time you saw the dress, the big day marked a huge occasion for the British public. And in the days following the wedding, we got to re-live every moment with the beautiful photographs taken on the day and beyond.

But a new revelation from the official royal photographer to Kate and William has shed light on one of the most famous shots taken on the day. Hugo Burnand spoke to Town & Country about the run up to the wedding and the famous photographs themselves. And surprisingly, it sounds as though one of the most iconic images from the day nearly didn’t happen.

royal wedding picture
Hugo Burnand/AFP/Getty Images

The shot in which Kate and William are sat surrounded by their flower girls and page boys, was apparently only going to happen if there was time for it, and was completely dependent on how the newly married couple felt at the time.

‘We finished with three minutes to spare so I asked Catherine if we could do the shot we had talked about previously. And she turned to William and said, “What do you think?” And he said, “Let’s go for it.”‘

He continued: ‘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.’

Explaining that it was his favourite photo he took that day, Burnand said that although it looks highly posed, the image was actually largely spontaneous:

‘That was a very spontaneous picture. That little detail there [points to Kate’s hand touching William’s knee] and William leaning in there, all these things were not directed, but a result of a good relationship with everyone.’

Looking at the outcome, we bet William and Kate are very glad they took the time to add this one to their album…