SNEAK PEEK: Behind the scenes of Kate and Baby George’s cuddle photo
This behind the scenes photo of Prince George snuggling into the shoulder of his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton with his father Prince William in the background. Almost every face is partially obscured, however there’s no denying the happiness and love in the faces of this Royal Family.
The iconic photo was taken at Government House as the baby was being carried through to meet a handful of babies from New Zealand for the young baby George’s first ever Royal engagement - and although it’s one of the best-known shots of this royal tour, the photographer, Simon Woolf, won’t see a penny from photography sales.
Woolf, a professional photographer and Wellington City councillor and was given incredible exclusive access to a side room adjoining the waiting Plunket families, when he snapped the single frame which he admitted could be the defining photo of his career.
Not surprisingly – within hours of being put on the Government House Facebook page the photo had 1.4 million views!!
It has since been on the cover of Hello, and featured in The Sun, The Telegraph, and on ABC, CNN, and Sky television, among others.
Woolf estimated it had conservatively been seen over 1 billion times!! Imagine that!
For security reasons he only discovered that he would be allowed exclusive access to the royals 20 minutes before he took the photo.
”There was a bit of a plan for a [staged] family photo but it fell to pieces because they allowed George to sleep for an extra half-hour.”
When he took the photo he thought it was ”reasonable” but being a professional – said it was not a good day for lighting for photography.
”I didn’t know until I got it on the computer to see how sharp it was.”
His phone rang constantly until 1.30am the next day with agencies around the world requesting more information or different files of it.
Despite the wild popularity of this iconic photo, Woolf will not see a cent from the photograph as the pool system on royal tours mean photographers have to share images freely.
He had ”absolutely no regrets” despite the fact he would have been a millionaire if he had been able to sell the image.
”I just think to be chosen to represent New Zealand for the tour was just the most unbelievable honour.”
At the end of the tour he presented the royals with a framed, black and white copy of the photo.
”She [Kate Middleton] said it was just lovely and it was her favourite of the tour.”
She had earlier commented to him she had seen the photo and liked it – well it can’t get better than that can it.
He had previously photographed the royals and amazingly the duke had remembered him from previous tours.
At the end of a yacht race on America’s Cup boats in Auckland, in which the duchess beat the duke, Woolf commented to William about how happy his wife was.
”He said to me, ‘I would bet she is’. He went to her yacht and she gave him the loveliest ribbing you could imagine.”
He came away from the tour with glowing praise of the royals.
William was a ”class act” and ”she is every bit as wonderful as he is and she has such a wonderful heart”.
Woolf said that he planned to send framed copies of his photo to baby George’s grandparents and great-grandparents, known as most as Prince Charles and the Queen.