Royal expert hits out after Prince Andrew's memorial appearance: 'Palace got it completely wrong'

Prince Andrew accompanied the Queen to the ceremony in his first public royal appearance since settling a rape case earlier in March

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A royal expert has hit out at Buckingham Palace for how they handled a photographer at Prince Philip’s memorial service last week.

The memorial, held at Westminster Abbey, was marred after Andrew accompanied the Queen, in his first royal appearance since paying millions out of court last month to settle a civil sexual assault case.

Photographer Richard Pohle, who was inside the event, left his official position to take an arrival shot of Her Majesty and Andrew – an action frowned upon by the palace.

Mr Pohle made the call after firstly being told not to take pictures of the Queen until she was in her seat.

Robert Jobson told GB News that he understood why the photographer broke ranks to take the picture, before hitting out at how the palace dealt with the situation.

Mr Jobson, who also attended the ceremony, said: “I was sitting only a few yards away from him (Andrew) when he was there, he was chaperoned by the press team from the palace.

Royal expert Robert Jobson
Royal expert Robert Jobson
The image taken by the photographer at Prince Philip's memorial service
The image taken by the photographer at Prince Philip's memorial service

“He was on the royal rota, so he is sort of under their discretion to a degree.

“But the bottom line was, that morning we broke the news that Andrew was going to accompany the Queen to the event and that of course became the story and quite rightly as a news photographer he decided to take that picture.

“It’s difficult, but if he didn’t get that picture, all the picture editors in Fleet Street would’ve wondered what on earth he was doing.”

When asked whether the photographer should be banned from attending other royal events, Mr Jobson said: “I think if that happens, there will be uproar. I think the palace got it completely wrong from beginning to end on this.

“The reality is the photographer is there like other reporters. You can’t be controlled by the palace.

“During the pandemic there has been far too much control of this royal rota over what can be embargoed and what can’t be embargoed.

“Frankly, they’ve utilised it to almost stage manage what they want in the papers and what they don’t. I don’t think you can continue to do this.”