Benjamin Wareing: My top 10 Royal photographs of 2019

14 January 2019. HRH The Duchess of Sussex smiles as she greets crowds of schoolchildren in Birkenhead. I love this photograph because, embedding myself within the crowd, I managed to speak to some amazing members of the public who had braved to cold in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the royal couple of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Duchess Meghan spoke excitedly with elderly local residents about her newest patronages, and joked with schoolchildren about potential names for their first baby. One joked ‘Amy’, which Meghan laughed and relayed back to her royal aide — also called Amy — who found the experience hilarious.
1 February 2019. HRH The Duchess of Sussex smiles as she meets local residents in Bristol during a heavy snowfall. This photograph will always stand out to me as one of my all-time favourites because of the magical snow — it just adds another level to an already wonderful picture. To the best of my knowledge, it is also the first snowy weather Duchess Meghan has experienced in the UK as a member of the royal family. Fears that the royals may not be able to carry out a walkabout due to the snow and ice were strife beforehand, but thankfully ‘emergency grit’ was called in, barriers shuffled around, and a shorter walk made for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to carry out.
6 March 2019. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge joins The Duke of Cambridge Prince William in the historic town of Blackpool in Lancashire. So close to my home city, this royal engagement was particularly enjoyable for me. I remember laughing and joking with locals about the weird, wonderful and wacky sights of Blackpool, especially a man who had been dancing nearby for upwards of four hours, and to the graceful approach fellow photographer Charlotte Graham made to climbing out onto the balcony of Blackpool Tower to photograph the couple from above. Despite the clear weather for this first walkabout, I photographed two more engagements by the royal couple that day, and the weather had grown worse with heavy rainfall and wind.
8 April 2019. HRH The Prince of Wales Prince Charles greets a dog in the Lake District. Despite the travel up to the lake district being half a dozen hours across the country, this engagement is another one that will stick with me for a long, long time. Since a young boy I’d always loved visiting the historic and beautiful Lake District, so to photograph a royal engagement was a chance I could not miss. This photo just shows what an animal lover the Prince of Wales really is at heart, choosing to go out of his way to pet him outside the venue he was due to attend.
7 May 2019. The morning after the announcement of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ first baby, an easel announcing the official news stands outside Buckingham Palace in London. I stood photographing this easel, and the tens of thousands of tourists who had flocked to see it, for hours and hours on end the morning after the announcement. Media, lucky tourists, and royal fans queued for up to an hour at peak times to view the easel and take selfies with it.
6 June 2019. HRH The Duke of Cambridge Prince William addresses the 75th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. I have long championed and supported the invaluable work of the National Memorial Arboretum in marking, symbolising and immortalising the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces, and the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth, and this event was particularly poignant due to the attendance of dozens of D-Day WWII veterans, widows, and their families.
8 June 2019. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge smiles and jokes with HRH The Duchess of Sussex in the carriage on the way to Trooping the Colour. Also in the carriage was HRH The Duke of Sussex and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The sun hit the royals perfectly for this photography — not too harsh, but not too muted either. Coupled with a beaming, natural smile and this makes for one of the most vibrant photographs of the day.
8 June 2019. The royal family, centred by HM The Queen, lined along the world famous Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the Trooping the Colour flypast. Like a chaotic medieval painting, this photograph stands out as all members of the royal family, from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their family looking out for planes to the left, to the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal engaged in deep conversation behind Her Majesty and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in laugher to the right, are all doing something together. But Her Majesty The Queen is the only one looking straight forwards towards the crowds of tens of thousands of onlookers, giving a smile to the nation. In a year of instability and differences, in a year coined as the Annus Horribilis II for the royal family, this was a warm and welcome face of stability and unity.
8 June 2019. TRH The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis watch the Trooping the Colour flypast over Buckingham Palace. This photograph, captured towards the end of the flypast, sticks out to me for a few reasons; it is Prince Louis’ first balcony appearance for Trooping the Colour, and he seemed to love it, but also all eyes are up — except for Prince William — who is looking down towards his eldest son Prince George, the future King and third in line to the throne. The pride and anxiety he must feel for his son will be beyond words can describe.
7 November 2019. HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens a new STEM centre at Staffordshire University. My last royal engagement of the year, photographing Prince Richard at my university was a no-brainer. However, I turned this otherwise normal engagement into one that captured a lighter side to the Queen’s cousin — capturing candid moments as HRH played around with new lighting fixtures, electronic toys and chatted with members of the Student’s Union inside the new centre. Just a few days after my birthday, this was a nice, fun engagement to document.

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