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Royal photographer reveals the unexpected shoes the late Queen wore underneath her robes

Royal photographer Julian Calder speaks to HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast

Queen Elizabeth II in pink coat and hat
Sela Musa
Sela MusaLifestyle Intern
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Royal photographer Julian Calder has revealed the behind-the-scenes preparations that were involved with getting the late Queen ready to be photographed.

The portrait connoisseur told HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast, which you can listen to below, about the surprising footwear that the late Queen wore for the Chief of The Chiefs portrait. The monumental photograph was snapped on the grounds of Balmoral Castle back in 2010.

Bid farewell to the idea of dainty little shoes; Queen Elizabeth had replaced satin with stompers whilst treading the grounds of her beloved Scottish residence.

"She was wearing walking shoes underneath her robes," Julian tells HELLO!.

He recalls the late Queen's agreement to the portrait, which came under the condition that the robes stay dry. "She said, 'Right, we'll do this. But make sure that the robes don't get wet.' So with her blessing, we went off and we did it."

Queen Elizabeth II wearing her Coronation gown© PA Images
September 8th marked the first anniversary of the late monarch's death

And indeed, Julian and his team went to great lengths to ensure the protection of the royal robes. Hidden from the camera's eye is a sheet which paved an invisible platform for Her late Majesty, keeping her safely separate from the Scottish dewiness.

Julian tells HELLO! of the challenge of finding an accessible landscape for the late monarch whilst also ensuring it fulfilled its fundamental purpose.

Prince Charles and Princess Anne being pushed on a swing by their father, the Duke of Edinburgh, with their mother Queen Elizabeth II looking on, in the grounds of Balmoral. © PA Images
Prince Charles and Princess Anne being pushed on a swing by their father, the Duke of Edinburgh, with their mother Queen Elizabeth II looking on, in the grounds of Balmoral

"When you're doing a figure in landscape, the figure must dominate the landscape. But the landscape has got to be very sympathetic with putting the figure in there.

"And it all worked."

Indeed it did, with Queen Elizabeth II captured in a striking vow of strength and authority whilst she radiates beneath layers of emerald green.

King Charles and Queen Elizabeth II© Getty
King Charles with his mother Queen Elizabeth II in green during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in June 2022

"She wanted to see it," Julian says. "She looked at everything, but she didn't quite understand why she's standing there in the road. I think in the end she accepted it, that it was a significant portrait, and slightly different from most of the ones that she had done."

Elsewhere, HELLO!'s royal editor Emily Nash talks about Balmoral, King Charles' first summer there as monarch and why it's such a special place for the young kids of the royal family.

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