An image that should not be seen? For the first time in months, and while her health is declining sharply, Elizabeth II has been seen in public. On March 29, Her Majesty attended the service for her late husband, Prince Philip, at Westminster. Accompanied by her son Andrew, the monarch helped herself with a cane to reach her seat, from where she honored the memory of the Duke of Edinburgh. For this ceremony, which most members of the British Crown attended, Buckingham Palace had everything planned. Especially the media coverage. Because only a photographer was authorized to enter the interior of the abbey. “I was with two smiling and pleasant press officers from Buckingham Palace, with whom I had already worked before,” said Richard Pohle in the columns of the Times.
According to Richard Pohle, the entourage of Elizabeth II forbade him to take photos at a very specific moment of the service. “They told me that I would not be able to photograph the Queen’s entrance until they gave me permission,” he continued, regretting that the BBC could broadcast the entire ceremony. “Palace officials have remained firm, no photos until she is seated,” he said. Does this ban suggest that the Palace would like to hide the state of health of Elizabeth II? Richard Pohle made no assumptions. And he finally managed to photograph her arrival, when she appeared on the arm of Prince Andrew, yet persona non grata within the royal family. “I told them, ‘I absolutely need to photograph this’, he continued. The arrival of the queen was now the major event in the news.”
Elizabeth II: her choice was controversial
“I could see them hesitating but they repeated that the order not to take a picture ‘came from above’ and that ‘it didn’t depend on them'”, assured the photographer again. Eventually he was able to capture the arrival of Elizabeth II on the arm of Prince Andrew. And this revealing scene has long been commented on across the Channel. It must be said that with this gesture, Elizabeth II adds to the controversy in which the ex-husband of Sarah Ferguson has been steeped for months. “The Queen performed one of the most controversial body language gestures of her entire reign, analyzed body language expert Judi James in the columns of the Mirror. After walking up the aisle on Andrew’s arm, she stopped in front of the eyes of the world to smile and thank him before taking her place at her husband’s memorial service.”
Elizabeth II © Agency