Royal weddings are a time when we see members of Britain’s most famous family looking their best, smiling bright, and happily waving to the crowds of well-wishers. This is because they know they are going to be photographed that day. However, the royals don’t ever expect to show up in an extensive 100-page magazine spread and have pictures taken of them during a private reception. But that’s exactly what happened when one of Queen Elizabeth II‘s grandchildren got married. When the candid images surfaced Prince Harry and a number of other royals were not pleased about it and pretty livid when they learned just how the magazine got those pictures.
Here’s more on the wedding-photo scandal that angered many royals.
The wedding that was supposed to be private
A decade before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their grand royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel, another one of the queen’s grandsons got married there.
On May 17, 2008, Peter Phillips, who is Princess Anne‘s son and Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandchild, married Canadian management consultant Autumn Kelly, at the Windsor Castle chapel. About 300 guests attended the affair including the queen, Prince Philip, and 70 members of Kelly’s family who flew in from Canada. Phillips and his bride’s nuptials were thought to be private.
“Generally what happens in the private do’s, there are no cameras there. So what happened at Peter and Autumn’s wedding is controversial and unusual,” royal expert Simon Vigar said in the documentary Meghan: Where Did It All Go Wrong? (per Express). “It went down like a lead balloon with many members of the royal family.”
Prince Harry and many other royals were furious about release of pictures
What those in attendance didn’t know is that unprecedented access to the chapel and proceeding events had been granted to Hello! Magazine. That access was actually cleared by the bride and groom for a sum of around $600,000.
The magazine ran a 100-page special, with more than half of the pages filled with photos of the queen, Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, as well as Kate Middleton who was not there with Prince William because he was in Africa at that time. Even though he wasn’t at the event William was extremely angry about the pictures and Harry was “incensed” that photos of him and Davy were taken.
The Telegraph reported the queen had not been consulted about the magazine deal so she and all the other family members were unaware of the presence of the four photographers on hand as they posed for several photos. The Hello! crew was also present at the reception in Frogmore House.
Mirror columnist Susie Boniface explained: “The royals were at a wedding ceremony which is supposed to be private — the most private the royals are ever in, inside their own home, for goodness sake. They thought this was just photographers at a wedding and happily posed and grinned away, and then were quite amazed a couple of weeks afterward to see a Hello! Supplement dedicated entirely to things they thought were private family shots.”
How the queen reacted to what her grandson did
Following the scandal, palace sources revealed that much of the family was furious to find out that Phillips and Kelly had taken money in exchange for the private images.
“They didn’t expect family photographs to end up spread over half of Hello!,” the royal sources told the Evening Standard. “Neither Peter nor the magazine sought their approval — and if they had, it certainly would not have been given. What has happened has not gone down well at all. They are very unhappy about it.”
Phillips has long been thought to be the queen’s favorite grandchild and while the monarch wasn’t thrilled when the scandal went down, she reportedly forgave him almost immediately. The queen did, however, ban senior members of the Firm from been featured in celebrity magazine photograph deals.