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.
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.
“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.”
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?”
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