David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

This is one of my earliest royal assignments. The prince of pork was a little less porky then and actually looks quite sweet in his little cub outfit. The royals were and always a staple for any news photographer. Some even make their entire living by photographing them. These are not paps but the royal photographers.

I only ever dipped in and out of royal stuff and wouldn't have liked to do very much of it. The competition was hot. Arguably the best was Tim Graham, always with the latest and best equipment but most importantly, always there. These royal photographers become known to the royal family and get, therefore special privileges in location and information about the royals' movements, Essentially, they can be trusted not to put out pix of the queen picking her nose, that sort of thing.

The most notorious of the 'anti' royal photographers was Ray Bellissario. He would stalk the royals for hours in order to photograph them in any unflattering or compromising positions he could. The police would retalitate by blocking his car in with cop cars and leaving him trapped, unable to leave for hours. More than a little inconvenient in a business where the competition of fierce and time is of the essence.

Lady Di, of course, made royal photography into an industry. She both courted and fended off the press, lived by them and some say, died of them. Actually, she died in a car being driven at reckless speed by a drunken driver - in order to avoid having her photograph taken. This from someone who made a point of having her friends let the photographers know where she was going to be.

She was much less pretty in person than her pictures portrayed, more horsey and angular but the camera loved her, especially on the fly, and that is very unusual. She also had a way with people and plainly enjoyed being around 'ordinary' folk, as it were. I remember once when she visited a war veterans' home in Paris. it was all quite formal but as she went around chatting and touching, you could feel these old guys falling in love with her. An old friend of mine, the Sun's royal photographer Arthur Edwards had a special arrangement with her. She'd meet him privately after an assignment and he'd tell her all the latest dirty jokes fromn the East End and she'd reciprocate with the same from her end of society.

It kept her in touch with what the street was thinking - and did no harm to Arthur's career, either.