Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of taking pictures of the Royal Family quite a few times. Working on these projects, we have built relationships with the press officers and have come to understand their full requirements on etiquette. Some of these principles are equally applicable when working with other VIPs (like Politicians), where as some are only Royal specific.
Usually when photographing an event in which royalty is present, unless there is a special reason, the photographer won’t be introduced to the Royal. If you are introduced the royal guidelines are as follows:
If it’s meeting The Queen or other female member of the Royal Family for the first time you should address them as ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Your Royal Highness’ respectively. From then on use ‘Ma’am’, which should rhyme with ‘Pam’. For male members of the Royal Family, use ‘Your Royal Highness’ and subsequently ‘Sir.
When being introduced to a member of the Royal Family men should bow and women curtsy. A handshake is also acceptable. The bow should be made by bending from the neck or shoulders (not the waist) while briefly lowering your eyes. Bow again when the member of the Royal Family leaves. To make a curtsy briefly bend your knees with one foot forward (a bob rather a full balletic sweep). This should again be performed when the member of the Royal Family leaves.
2. Not while eating
Avoid taking a photo while the Royal has food or a glass in their hand or during a meal. It is however in order to take pictures during a Loyal Toast, or just before food is served.
Photography at receptions should be kept to minimum (whether indoors or outside), the photographer should not be in the way of other guests who may be waiting for an introduction. If important presentation photos are required, it’s best to arrange for the beginning or the end to avoid disturbing other guests.
4. Close up
Taking close range pictures continuously should be avoided generally, but especially when Royals are spectators at an event, As ever its preferred that photos are taken on arrival and departure, or during periods of active Royal participation in the event.
5. Don’t be in the way
Under no circumstances should photographers to insert themselves between a Royal and whomever or whatever it is they are meeting or watching.
6. Give the public a chance
Photographer should make sure they are not seen to prevent members of the public, who may have waited hours from seeing Royal visitors. In such cases photographers are requested to adopt a minimum profile.
7. Not in church
Photography of members of the Royal family in church is not permitted, except in exceptional circumstances where permission has been obtained in advance. Even when permission has been granted, photos should not be taken while members of the Royal Family are at prayer.
8. God save the queen and stand still
Pictures may be taken of Royal visitors whilst the National Anthem is played, but photographers must stay in place until after the Anthem has finished.