Friday, January 10, 2014

Magical Memories by Arthur Edwards

Some years ago -- the late 1980s -- I was included in the British press pool for the visit of the Princess of Wales' visit to New York City.  Among Diana's stops was a visit to FAO Schwarz to take part in the opening of a display of British toys. 
@ Marlene Eilers Koenig

After it was all over, the British photographers decided to go for drink at a local bar.  They invited me to come along.   One of the photographers was the very nice Arthur Edwards, who picked up the tab for my drink.   Arthur Edwards, MBE, is a very nice man.   He is also a great photographer.

Arthur's career as a royal snapper began in 1977, and soon moved to the front row as one of the A-list, as the Sun's royal photographer.

He has been front row and center, present for weddings, births,  tours, and day-to-day duties by members of the British royal family.  His work is on display in Arthur Edward's Magical Memories  The Greatest Royal Photographs of All Time (Metro:  19.99), a nearly 300 page tome.   An earlier edition was published in 2011, following the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  

The book's editor has wisely separated the photographs into 15 different chapters:  My All-Time Favourites, Princess Diana, Charles and Diana, Prince William, Prince Henry, The Queen, Prince Philip, Tender Moments, The Queen Mother, Camilla, Charles and Camilla, You Don't Often See That!, Prince Charles, William and Kate and Arthur and the Royals.

Arthur's favorites are not centered on the late Diana, Princess of Wales.   He offers comments for all of his photographs.  On one particular photograph of Diana and the Queen, he writes:  "A lot has been said about Diana and the Queen not hitting it off,  The Queen, I think, felt Diana was too popular among the public and Diana thought of her mother-in-law as too set in her ways."  

[Personally, I think Camilla has a far better relationship with the Queen: they do have a lot more in common.]

Arthur allows to relive and remember watching William and Harry grow up, from adorable little princes, loved and adored by both their parents, to adults.  William is married and the father of a young son.  Prince Harry has proved his mettle as a soldier, serving twice in Afghanistan.

I really enjoyed the photographs of Camilla and Charles and Camilla.  One can see the love between them.  Charles is a much a happier man now, and it shows in his face and demeanor.  Camilla takes a good picture, and she has settled rather nicely into her royal duties, even refusing to cancel engagement after she broke her leg while skiing.

My favorite photo is on page 196 showing the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, at ease with each other, smiling, sharing a joke, in Saudi Arabia.  

Magical Memories is one of those books to keep on display on your cocktail table, to open and look at from time to time, and be reminded of the history and continuity of the British royal house.

And thanks, again, for the drink Arthur.

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