The Near-Mishap at Prince William's Christening That Left Queen Elizabeth Saying 'Goodness Me, Goodness Me'

·3 min read

There are a few royal moments in history we wish we could have been a part of. Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s wedding and Prince William’s christening are two on that list. Luckily, we recently spoke with royal photographer, Kent Gavin, who witnessed both events first-hand.

PureWow recently sat down with Gavin ahead of the release of BritBox’s, new film, The Wedding of the Century, which documents the Princess of Wales’s wedding back in 1981 and features interviews with key insiders involved in the historical event.

During the chat, Gavin opened up about being hand-selected by Charles and Diana to photograph the christening of their first child, Prince William.

“At that time I had been quite present in Diana's life,” Gavin revealed. “But when I found out that I was picked, I was on holiday. I got a call saying ‘You won't believe this but Charles and Diana have chosen you to do the christening,’ and I was chuffed. And it was from there on I built a great relationship with her over the years.”

As it turns out, Gavin has very vivid memories of shooting those photos, specifically the fact that William was not cooperating. “It was a great day. William bawled his head off from the moment that the photo op started to the end of it. Diana had to put her little finger in his mouth to keep him quiet throughout, but it didn’t work quite honestly.”

And if it wasn’t for his keen attention to detail, one very important photo would have been missing from the list.

Gavin continued, “Also on that day, I had been there doing rehearsals and everything else. And the queen's press secretary at that time was a man called Michael Shea, who was stuck in the Vshictorian attitude in the way of media and all that. He gave me a running order of how it would work. Charles and Diana would sit down. Diana would be on her own. There would be a group picture, Godparents, etc. and I looked over it and it all went beautifully—especially the lovely pictures with her finger in William's mouth. Then I looked at the list and noticed that one of the main pictures—a historic picture—was missing. However, Michael Shea said, ‘Whatever you don't talk to them.’ But one of the big pictures that was missing was the Queen Mother holding Prince William—the oldest and the youngest.“

“So I looked at my colleague and I said, ‘I'm going to have to go over and ask for it even though we were told not to talk.’ I went across to the queen and said, ‘Excuse me, ma’am, there is a very historical picture missing from the lineup—queen mom holding Prince William.’ She looked at me and said ‘Goodness me. Goodness me. How have we missed that? Mother mother.’ And the Queen Mother came out, clocked her gin and tonic on the table and sat down. Diana, with William still bawling, gave him to the Queen Mother and they turned out to be marvelous pictures. Diana came off and said, ‘Well done, Kent.’ And she laughed because they got it wrong and we got it right.”

Who knew all of this went into just a couple of photos?

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