When Queen Elizabeth arrived at Prince Philip's service, she was escorted by Prince Andrew — and people were shocked to see the disgraced royal out and about since he only recently settled his sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Roberts.
According to Richard Pohle, who is a staff photographer for The Times, he revealed that the moment almost didn't happen because the palace was trying not to let the photo leak.
"Last week in Westminster Abbey I was with two smiling and pleasant press officers from Buckingham Palace, both of whom I had worked with before," he said. "They told me I would not be able to photograph the entrance of the Queen until, basically, they said I could. To an outsider this may seem reasonable. 'What's the problem,' you may ask, 'the Queen should have some privacy in her advanced age.' I agree, but when the BBC is broadcasting the entire event to the world I think I should be able to take a picture as the only official photographer."
But Pohle pushed back and decided to do things his own way. "And that's when the news filtered through to us: the Queen would be escorted to her seat by the Duke of York. This changed everything," he stated. "'I absolutely need to photograph this,' I said. The arrival of the Queen was now the major news event. I could see them wavering but they repeated that the no picture order 'came from the top' and that 'it wasn't up to them. "I pointed out that the BBC was carrying the whole event live. Would the palace order them not to film? I was responsible for still photography for the entire media and would be in a hell of a lot of trouble if there was blanket TV coverage of the Queen openly showing support for Prince Andrew, but no photographs."
"This seemed to have an effect, as one of the press officers went off to make a phone call," he continued. "Desperation dictated I do something quickly. As the choir started up I jumped off my footstool and moved quickly to the aisle between the rows of seats opposite where the Queen would walk. Suddenly moving from an official position while on a royal rota is the most cardinal of sins. I brushed past the press officer and could feel a hand reach out to try and stop me but I rushed past and crouched in the centre of the aisle."
When the Queen entered, Pohle "raised my camera briefly," he revealed.
"The Queen was smiling and walked very briskly, I thought, but my view of Andrew was blocked by the clergy ahead of them," he noted. "I waited until the clergy reached the end of the aisle and turned sharply to the left and the picture opened up. I got the picture. I knew it would be the main picture from the ceremony that the news outlets were looking for. I went back to my official position passing the frowning press officer and whispered an apology."
Apparently, Prince Charles and Prince William were also appalled that Andrew was going to be there as well.
"In terms of royal events, I don't expect we will see Prince Andrew appear in the near future — if ever again," expert Richard Fitzwilliams told The Mirror. "He won't play any kind of a role in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, of that I think we can be quite sure. Prince Charles and William will be totally opposed to it, it's a non-starter. I do believe what we saw at Westminster Abbey was the Queen allowing him to physically supporting her after she supported him."