According to veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards, Princess Diana was not snubbed by Prince Charles at the Taj Mahal in India.
The now 76-year-old, who took the now infamous photo of a sad and pensive looking Diana sitting alone on a bench outside the iconic building in 1992, has said he never believed she had been intentionally snubbed by her husband, and in fact, he had photographed her smiling and laughing just a few hours earlier.
With Charles and Diana to separate just 10 months later, the media were well aware of the troubles in the royal couple’s marriage at the time, and the image of a lonely-looking Diana sitting by herself made headlines around the world.
“Everyone took it as a snub but I never took it like that,’’ Edwards told News Corp this week.
And he revealed he had photographed Diana a few hours earlier at another monument, the Red Fort, where she smiled and seemed completely at ease.
It had been widely speculated that the decision to let Diana visit the monument alone — where she later told reporters it was a “healing experience’’ and invited them to work out for themselves what that might mean — had been a disastrous public relations decision.
However, Edwards revealed he had gone alone to photograph the princess earlier at the Red Fort, while the other photographers rushed off to the Taj Mahal to set up in position.
“I was the only photographer that went with her,’’ he recalled.
“She said ‘where do you want me Arthur’.’’
The photographs he took show a relaxed and smiling Diana. – a world away from the forlorn figure sat on a bench just a few hours later.
Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter has also confirmed an unavoidable scheduling clash weeks earlier meant Prince Charles would be giving a speech to businessmen in Bangalore, hundreds of kilometres away and would not be able to join Diana, despite declaring a decade earlier he hoped to visit the monument one day with his wife.