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The royal photographer who captured the image of Queen Elizabeth II during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations is sharing how he new the image would be “something special.”
Ranald Mackechnie, who captured the portrait of the late monarch in May, spoke to Lorraine on Wednesday and told the outlet that the Queen said, “Well, you can’t make me,” when he asked her to smile. She giggled when he replied with “Well, you can try.”
The image was released ahead of Elizabeth’s funeral at the Westminster Abbey on Monday. The late monarch was seen in a light blue dress flashing a bright smile.
Speaking to the network, Mackechnie said he is “very proud” of his last image of Elizabeth and added that it was “one of those moments, when you know, as soon as you’ve taken it, you’ve got something special.”
He added: “We had quite a bit of a rapport that shot, we started with the other shot, and we’re all set up… and she arrived, and walked in, and we said ‘Hello’, and then she just looks at me and says ‘What do you want?’”
“And I said ‘Well, I want you to smile and look happy.’ She looked back at me and she goes, ‘well, you can’t make me’, and I said, ‘well, you can try.’”
Mackechnie continued: “And she giggled. It was very light, and as I said she’s done this many times before, so she makes it easy for you.”
The photographer first met the Queen 10 years ago at Buckingham Palace. “Your head’s full of all the protocols… how to bow, what to do, so you can get a little cluttered up with that. But once you’re taking the pictures, that bit takes over,” he said, recalling the first time he met Elizabeth.
The queen, who celebrated 70 years on the throne this year, passed away on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96.
King Charles III and senior royal family members gathered late Monday for the private interment ceremony at St. George’s Chapel, a Gothic church on the grounds of Windsor Castle that has hosted royal weddings, christenings and burials since the 15th century.
Earlier Monday, 800 mourners, many of them the queen’s staff, joined royal family members in the chapel for a committal service – the last public ceremony capping 10 days of national mourning that saw huge military parades, miles-long queues in London to see the queen’s coffin lying in state, and Britain’s first state funeral since former Prime Minister Winston Churchill died in 1965.
In contrast, the interment late Monday was on a much more intimate scale. Royal officials said it was a “deeply personal family occasion,” and proceedings were not televised. They said the queen was interred together with Prince Philip’s remains at the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex within St. George’s.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.