Friday, May 23, 2008
Bitter recriminations were sweeping the Royal Family last night as the extent of Hello! magazine's royal wedding coverage became clear. Despite refusing to pose for magazine photographers, the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall all feature in a two-page private family group portrait supplied by Peter Phillips and his Canadian bride Autumn Kelly. The Queen and Prince Philip can also clearly be seen in several shots taken from a balcony inside St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle during the marriage ceremony itself. Royal girlfriends Kate Middleton and Chelsy Davy appear prominently over 20 pages of the magazine's 100-page wedding special, despite complaining in recent years about alleged breaches of their privacy ... Prince William was not at Saturday's wedding in Windsor Castle as he was in Africa, attending another marriage with his ex-girlfriend, Jecca Craig. But he and brother Harry made it clear last night that they were 'deeply unhappy' about the Hello! affair said to have involved a £500,000 payment to Princess Anne's son and his bride. Well-placed sources insisted that neither of the princes, nor their girlfriends, were aware that photographs-taken either in the chapel or at the reception were going to be published in the magazine and were shocked when they saw how prominently they were displayed. "They knew that some kind of arrangement between Peter and Autumn and the magazine had been made but did not know the details and certainly didn't expect what they thought were private, family photographs to end up spread over half of Hello!," said one. "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. It's a real shame this has happened as Peter is a wonderful guy of whom they are really, really fond, but as far as Harry, Kate and Chelsy are concerned, they were just letting their hair down at a private family event. Yes, they saw the photographers but they had no idea who they were working for. There are always photographers at weddings." The finger of blame for the fiasco appeared to pointing firmly towards the bride and groom, with palace officials expressing their surprise that any members of the Royal Family had been photographed in the chapel. "That was not our understanding of how it would work," said one [official] ... Some courtiers suggested that the Queen was an unwitting ' victim' of the controversial deal. One senior royal source said: "There is a great deal of difference between being aware of what is happening and giving one's approval." Another added: "It's her grandson, so what can she do apart from insist that she and other senior members of the Royal Family are not photographed directly?" Others insisted, however, it was unthinkable that the monarch would not have been made aware of the arrangements well in advance and therefore had given her tacit approval to the set-up. Labour MP Ian Gibson said: "I think the British public would expect the Queen to rise above being pictured in the pages of Hello! She is the Queen, after all, not a footballer's wife." ... Peter Phillips, who is 11th in line to the throne, is the first of the Queen's grandchildren to marry and his wedding attracted the biggest royal attendance in years. A heavily-vetted handful of newspaper photographers and television cameramen were allowed into the grounds of Windsor Castle to capture the couple as they left the chapel but the rights for the rest of the day were controversially sold exclusively to Hello! While something of a celebrity norm, such deals are virtually unheard of when it comes to the Royal Family, particularly as several senior members are still funded by the taxpayer. Even by Hello! standards, 100 pages could be considered over the top. From its cover boasting World Exclusive: Fabulous pictures of the young royals at the fun-filled celebrations, the magazine's determination to leave no stone - and no member of the Royal Family, for that matter - unturned made uncomfortable reading for many courtiers yesterday. Indeed, despite an understanding that no senior member of the Royal Family would be photographed, every one of them, from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to Prince Charles and the Countess of Wessex - who is embarrassingly pictured strutting her stuff on the dance floor - makes an appearance at some point along the line. Of the hundreds of photographs used, most feature the bride and groom in classic wedding poses with suitably gushing text to accompany them: the groom, they say, wore a smile which could 'melt a glacier' while the bride's eyes were 'dancing behind her veil'. There are also, rather embarrassingly, copious plugs for firms associated with the event including a brand of vodka served to younger guests at the reception and the champagne used for the toasts. More significantly, despite the vociferous protests of St George's Chapel staff, cameras were eventually allowed inside to capture the wedding ceremony - openly photographing royal girlfriends Kate Middleton and Chelsy Davy who had attempted to sneak inside the building without being spotted by the 'ordinary' newsmen ... Kate and Chelsy Davy feature in 19 photographs, many of which are spread over two whole pages.
Hello! magazine, I'm sure, is very pleased with all the attention this issue is receiving because it prolly means that more of their magazines will be sold as a result (to be completely honest, I don't think I've ever purchased a copy of Hello! magazine ... I think I'll pick up this issue just to see all "unauthorized" photos that have the Queen pitching a fit). Peter Phillips, meanwhile, is prolly worried that he's about to be cut from his grandmother's will ... I hope he made enough money on those pics to live out the rest of his life with his new bride. [Source, Source]