The Story Behind That Aerial Photo at the Royal Wedding

Updated 10/10/19

Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding resulted in countless breathtaking photos that have captivated fans across the globe. But one shot, in particular, stands out from that day.

As the newlyweds passed under a Windsor Castle bridge, photographer Yui Mok of the Press Association in England, managed to snap a now-iconic shot of the couple from above—one that people are calling "Princess Diana's View." And it's not hard to see why. Since the wedding ceremony last Saturday, the photo has gone completely viral online—not only for the photographer's skill with the camera but also because of the heart-shape of the Duke and Duchess' bodies.

Mok took to Twitter to address the photo's popularity, writing in a tweet, "Thanks, glad you like the photo. It was taken by myself, and I'm a staff photographer for PA based in the UK. I was positioned on the roof of George IV Gateway of Windsor Castle, and they passed directly beneath me during their carriage procession."

The photographer, who was one of 22 from the PA covering the royal wedding, also spoke to Town & Country about the magical moment he captured the shot.

"The initial plan was for me to capture the carriage procession making its way along the Long Walk, flanked by the many thousands of well-wishers who had lined the route. It would make for a marvelous general view, or what we photographers call a 'GV,' showing an overview of the turnout, the color, and the scale of the occasion," Mok told the publication. "My photos were to provide atmospheric support to the key shots that my colleagues—in various other positions in and around Windsor Castle—would be shooting."

Mok was then escorted up the George IV Gateway prior to the wedding and planned to stay there until the carriage procession was through.

"As the newly-married couple started down the Long Walk, I proceeded to take the GVs that I needed using a very long Canon 600 mm lens, with the carriage framed by the crowd either side. The distance was far too great to actually see the couple in their carriage at this point, and it was only until they passed the Castle gate and left the throngs of the public behind that I could begin to get some clear shots of them. During this time they decided to kiss, which also made for a lovely picture."

As the couple's carriage got closer, the photographer scrambled to find an angle for the perfect shot, before he realized it was right in front of and below him the whole time.

"I had noticed earlier that there were a couple of portholes covered with metal grilles on the floor where I stood, through which you could see directly to the ground below. I had seen various vehicles underneath me during the time spent waiting, and decided to try for a shot of their carriage passing through," Mok said. "The carriage took less than a second to pass underneath me, and in that time I had managed to shoot five frames, one of which would end up as one of the most memorable photos of the whole wedding," Mok said.

Mok's individual tweet of the photo alone has received over 227,000 likes, with plenty of royal fans replying with feedback. A handful of fans have dubbed the photo "Princess Diana's View," as though the groom's late mother is watching over the newlyweds from above. Others called out the perfect timing of the photographer, who managed to capture the couple while their bodies were positioned in a heart shape.

But despite the praise he has received for this picture, Mok said that he's just plain lucky for the shot. "In general, I felt a huge sense of relief when the job was done, insofar as nothing went awry, I encountered no technical hitches, and I came away with the bonus of a very unusual, serendipitous photograph that subsequently has touched and moved millions of people around the world. It’s the kind of photograph you take once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky."

Related Stories