Longtime Royal Photographer Arthur Edwards Claims Queen Camilla’s First Glimpse of Her Stepgrandson Prince Archie Came from a Photo He Showed Her of Archie on His Phone

“It was difficult times.”

Camilla, Queen Consort
(Image credit: Getty)

Longtime royal photographer Arthur Edwards certainly has quite a few stories to tell from his line of work—and here’s one: Edwards claimed, per The Mirror, that it was him that showed Queen Camilla the first photo she had ever seen of her stepgrandson, Prince Archie, back when he was born in May 2019.

Edwards—who has been photographing the royal family since 1977—said that he was on a royal tour in Germany with Camilla when Archie was born on May 6, and said he was the first person to show Camilla a photo of Archie, which he described as “difficult times” for her. (She is now Queen Camilla; in May 2019, she was the Duchess of Cornwall.)

Queen Consort Camilla, Prince Harry

Camilla and Harry don't have the warmest of relationships.

(Image credit: Getty)

If you’ll remember, Archie’s parents, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, took a different approach from Prince Charles and Princess Diana and, later, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate's titles before they became the Prince and Princess of Wales in 2022), when it came to introducing Archie to the world. There was no Lindo Wing photocall to introduce the new baby to the press and, ergo, the public—instead, Harry, Meghan, and Archie took part in a photocall two days after his birth at Windsor Castle. (Not that it’s apples to apples—and not that this is the so-called “right” way to do it—but the children of William and Kate were typically presented on the steps of the Lindo Wing within hours after their respective births.) Of this decision, Harry and Meghan said on their eponymous Netflix docuseries that “There was already the pressure of the picture with Archie on the steps,” Meghan said. “‘Are they going to do that, or are they not?’ But I had been really worried going into that labor, because I am older [she was 37 when Archie was born], and I didn’t know if I would have to have a C-section.”

Prince Archie

A photocall at Windsor two days after Archie's birth was decided to be the optimal solution.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan added “I had a very longstanding relationship with my doctor, and that is who I trusted with my pregnancy. And they said, ‘Right, but she is at Portland Hospital, and the steps are at this hospital [the Lindo Wing].’ And I said, ‘Okay, we could do a photocall in front of Portland Hospital.’ They said ‘It is impossible. We couldn’t barricade the streets off, and it would create a threat for the emergency room entrance because that is where you would have to do this picture.’” Instead, the alternative plan for the May 8 photocall at Windsor Castle was what was decided on.

“I remember showing Camilla in, I think, Munich the first pictures of Archie that was taken by the press,” Edwards said. “I showed her on my phone, and that was the first time she saw him. It was difficult times.”

Princess Anne, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry stand on the steps of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, following the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's 80th birthday

Camilla reportedly shares a warmer relationship with William, but stepparent and stepchild relationships are nearly always tricky.

(Image credit: Getty/Anwar Hussein)

Harry has not had the warmest of relations with his stepmother over the years—perhaps not difficult to imagine, considering Camilla’s role in the breakdown of Harry’s parents’ marriage. (Which, to be fair, probably would have ended eventually even without Camilla, but we’ll never know.) In his 2023 memoir, Spare, Harry claimed Camilla played “the long game,” with a campaign aimed specifically at his father, Charles, and, therefore, “the crown.”

“I had complex feelings about gaining a stepparent who, I believed, had recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar,” Harry wrote, also referring to her as “dangerous.”

The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall Visit Egypt - Day 2

Camilla's portrayal in "Spare" was less than favorable.

(Image credit: Getty/Pool)

A source told The Daily Beast that Harry’s public comments about Camilla may be a big part of what’s hindering reconciliation between Harry and his father, saying that “Harry has made things very difficult for himself by saying such cruel and hurtful things about Camilla.” They added that Charles is torn between his affection for his son and his affection for his wife, whom he married in 2005 after being in love for more or less 30-plus years.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles' 2005 wedding day

Charles and Camilla on their wedding day in 2005.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Charles loves his sons, but he also loves his wife,” they said. “The last few months [after his cancer diagnosis in February] have made it very clear how important she is; she has been the one propping up the whole edifice. Harry has made it very clear, very publicly, that he despises her. He has forced Charles to choose, which was a very silly thing to do, because Camilla and he both chose each other a long time ago.”

It’s tension between father and son that continues to the present month, when Harry was in the U.K. celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Invictus Games and couldn’t see his father because the King’s schedule was reportedly too full. According to The Sunday Times’ royal editor Roya Nikkah—who was speaking on the podcast “The Royals with Roya and Kate”—Harry was offered by the King to stay at a royal residence, but he turned the offer down. Nikkhah said she “found out that actually, Harry had asked if he could stay [at a royal residence], and Charles had said ‘Yes, come and stay, son. You come and stay in a royal residence, you are near where I am, so it’s going to be much easier for me to see you, given what’s going on with my diary and your diary.’ And that turned everything on its head, because the narrative from Harry that ‘I wanted to see my father, but he is too busy to see me’—actually, the reality was Charles said ‘Yes, please do come and stay in a royal gaff, and that would make it much easier to see each other.’”

Marie Claire reported earlier this month that Harry declined the offer because of security concerns. 

King Charles, Prince Harry walking

Harry opted to stay in a hotel when he visited London earlier this month, rather than at a royal residence.

(Image credit: Getty)

As for Camilla, when it comes to Harry, Lady Lansdowne—a close confidante of the Queen’s—told The Sunday Times “Of course it bothers her, of course it hurts,” she said. “But she doesn’t let it get to her. Her philosophy is always, ‘Don’t make a thing of it, and it will settle down—least said, soonest mended.’”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.