What A Photographer Was Reportedly Told About The Queen At Prince Philip's Memorial

Although Prince Philip's memorial service was important to Queen Elizabeth — and she was heavily involved in its planning — it wasn't clear whether or not her majesty would be able to attend the event due to concerns regarding her health. The queen has missed several important events over the last six months, including a trip to Northern Ireland, the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the Remembrance Sunday service, and Buckingham Palace admitted that the decision to attend the memorial service would be made at the last minute.

While the queen had already been seen walking with a cane, there were also reports that she was wheelchair-bound and would not want to be photographed in a frail state. "She doesn't want to be seen, she's very proud ... She's our greatest ever monarch," explained Christopher Biggins, a British actor and friend of the queen (via OK!). 

Luckily, Queen Elizabeth was able to honor her late husband at the memorial service, arriving at Westminster Abbey with her son, Prince Andrew, for her first public appearance in five months, per The Hollywood Reporter. Although she was not in a wheelchair, there were special accommodations made for the queen, including having her enter through a side door so she didn't have to walk the entire aisle, as well as keeping the service short, per Bloomberg.

The 40-minute event went off without any issues, but one photographer has revealed that there was some panic before Elizabeth's arrival due to her choice of escort.

Photographers were initially told not to photograph Queen Elizabeth with her son

Tensions were high before Queen Elizabeth arrived at Westminster Abbey for Prince Philip's memorial service, according to Richard Pohle, staff photographer at The Times. He shared that Buckingham Palace had originally instructed him not to snap any photos of her majesty until she was seated because the queen was being escorted by Prince Andrew, who has withdrawn from public life due to his sexual assault scandal. Pohle, however, was undeterred. "I absolutely need to photograph this," he said to palace officials, explaining that "the arrival of the Queen was now the major news event. I could see them wavering but they repeated that the no picture order 'came from the top' and that 'it wasn't up to them.'"

Fortunately, the powers-that-be changed their minds and Pohle was able to get pictures of the queen with Andrew. According to insiders, some senior members of the royal family objected to her decision to arrive with her embattled son, but the queen wouldn't back down. "It shows she wholeheartedly loves and believes her son," royal commentator Robert Jobson told People. "She has faith in Andrew. Even if he disappears from public life, he's been able to pay tribute to his father, who after all, was very proud of his service in the Royal Navy, where he fought in the Falkland Islands conflict."

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