British photographer Rankin has revealed that Queen Elizabeth II turned down his pose request because she “hated” her hands being pictured.
Rankin tells the Tea with Twiggy podcast that the Queen refused to be photographed holding a sword because of the dislike she had for her hands.
The celebrity photographer, whose real name is John Rankin Waddell, says that he felt a “wave of empowerment” when the Queen walked into the Throne Room where the photoshoot was taking place in 2002.
“I’ve never felt that aura. She was just so funny from the minute she walked in,” says Rankin.
“I was like, ‘I really want to photograph you holding the sword,’ and she said, ‘I don’t like my hands.’ And I was like, that’s the best get out for holding the sword.
“I’m probably not supposed to say that, but what I loved about her is she’s so, so smart and everything that she was saying had this amazing twist to it. It was just really brilliant.”
Rankin says that he wanted to capture the Queen’s sense of humor after he saw her laughing with her footman who was accompanying her.
“I was in the throne room and she was walking down this corridor and I could see her and the footman walking,” he says.
“They were both laughing, just cracking up, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want.’ So that was in my head the whole time.”
Rankin did get a portrait of the Queen smiling which then had the Union Jack flag superimposed as a backdrop.
“I got a really amazing note recently for the exhibition of her where there’s pictures of her through the decades, where the curator said my photograph of her is one of their favorites — which I think means the palace’s favorite — because she’s really laughing in my picture,” Rankin tells the podcast host Twiggy.
According to Rankin, the Queen also poked fun when his sync lead fell out of his camera. “She said, ‘oh, you do have a lot of equipment, don’t you?'”
The Queen never gave any interviews during her lifetime so anecdotes such as this one are all the public has to go on to decipher her personality. Another great story about her is from a former Royal Protection Officer about an oblivious American tourist who failed to recognize the Queen and asked her to take a photo of him with her security officer.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.