British photographer Rankin has said that the Queen is "really funny" as he recalled working on a photoshoot with her in 2002. The 48-year-old photographed the Queen as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, and revealed that he wasn't disappointed by the meeting as she acted so normally.
"I watched her walk down this long corridor at Buckingham Palace with a guy who must have been at least 6ft," he told The Telegraph. "She's tiny, and she was looking up at him, smiling and chatting, and I thought, 'You're exactly what I want you to be. You're a real person.'"
Rankin only had five minutes to take the portrait and said he was desperate to make her laugh.
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Rankin described the Queen as "really funny"
"I started saying 'Ma'am' like 'jam'. 'Ma'am, you have to smile, please' – I was like Austin Powers. And she just laughed at me.
"She was really funny, making a lot of jokes – very dry. Photography is all about collaboration – and she gave it to me."
The end result was an iconic photograph which shows the Queen grinning in front of a Union Jack Flag. Rankin admitted she gave her approval of the image but didn't mention her own face, something he described as "classy".
The Queen was captured by the British photographer in 2002
"She wrote back to me, having seen the shot, saying 'I love the stitching on the flag'. That's the Queen's way of not having an opinion. That's classy. It's like saying, 'I like the photograph, I'm just not commenting on myself.'"
Rankin is not the only photographer to speak of his pride at working with the Queen. Harry Benson, who captured the Queen for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, described the honour as "truly a highlight" of his career.