The Queen Hated Having This Part of Her Body Photographed, Leading Photographer Reveals

She may have been the monarch, but she was still so relatable.

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty)

Her late Majesty was one of the most photographed women in the world, but there was one body part she hated having photographed, a top photographer reveals: her hands.

Leading photographer Rankin was one of 10 photographers invited to take the Queen’s picture for her Golden Jubilee back in 2002, and later revealed on the “Tea with Twiggy” podcast, per Hello!, that meeting Her late Majesty was unlike any experience he’d never had before.

“Of course, she came in, and this wave of empowerment washes over you,” he says in the interview, recorded before the Queen’s death on September 8. “I’ve never felt that aura, and she was just so funny from the minute she walked in. I was like, ‘I really want to photograph you holding the sword,’ and she said, ‘I don’t like my hands.’ [I thought] that’s the best ‘get out’ for holding the sword. I’m probably not supposed to say that.”

Rankin says, while he only spent five minutes with her, “what I loved about her is she’s so smart and everything in response that she was saying had this amazing twist to it. It was just really, really brilliant.”

He also revealed that, before the shoot, he saw the Queen laughing and joking with a footman, which was something he sought to capture. “I was in the Throne Room and she was walking down this corridor and I could see her and the footman walking,” he says, via The Times. “They were both laughing, just cracking up, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want.’ So that was in my head the whole time.”

He later “got a really amazing note where the curator said my photograph of her is one of their favorites—which I think means the Palace’s favorite—because she’s really laughing in my picture.”

We still miss those laughs.

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.