Kate Middleton and Prince William’s engagement photocall was ‘insane’ says royal photographer

Thirteen years ago, Clarence House announced the engagement of Prince William and his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton. 

Rumours had been swirling that the future King would pop the question soon, and he did so on a private holiday to Kenya in October 2010, in a moment that Kate called “very romantic”.

Unsurprisingly, the photocall that was arranged at St James’s Palace on 16 November 2010, where Kate debuted her new diamond sparkler, was “insane”, filled with excitement and anticipation. 

Prince William and Kate announce their engagement 13 years ago:

One royal photographer who was there to capture the moment was AFP employee, Ben Stansall, who recalled in an exclusive interview with HELLO!: “It was like being at the biggest movie premiere – just insane. 

“I started my career in London working for Getty on the entertainment side, so I’ve been to quite a few movie premieres or BAFTA Awards where you see a lot of flash guns going off from the media. 

© Getty
“It was like being at the biggest movie premiere – just insane,” said Ben

“But this was just another level. It was incredible. I just remember thinking, ‘I’ve never seen this much light from the cameras before. This is absolutely, absolutely crazy.’

“A lot of people were talking about whether Catherine would be wearing Princess Diana’s ring. Then they came in and it was just a constant stream of light and flashes.”

Kate Middleton shows off her engagement ring as they pose for photographers during a photocall to mark their engagement© Getty
Kate showed off Princess Diana’s engagement ring

Ben has been photographing the royals for over a decade, and while he only sees the Princess of Wales sporadically, he has seen a big change in her since her newlywed days. 

“I think she has grown more confident,” Ben said. “Like everybody who has a job – I guess her job is more unique compared to ours – she seems very, very confident, much more so than the early days. But I guess that’s just the evolution of any career, isn’t it?”

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographers during a photocall to mark their engagement© Getty
The couple secretly got engaged the month before announcing their happy news

To read the full interview with Ben and to hear more about the “organised chaos” of the photocall, sign up to become a member of our new HELLO! Royal Club on Substack – a place where we deliver the best in royal journalism without the adverts. 

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More information can be found here and to subscribe, click here.

LISTEN: Find out what Prince William’s name will be when he becomes King:

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