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Cheers - AE

Monday, 30 May 2011

No photos, please may have to add "also not a regicide" to their campaign unless they want the Royal Protection Squad, fresh from getting their cars unclamped, to be on their case for using flash photography while Betty Windsor is about.
During the monarch's recent trip to Ireland and throughout US President Barack Obama's visit to the UK, the palace ordered that snappers not use flash photography.

"The Queen has finally had enough of it - and she believes the accredited official photographers should be good enough to take pictures of her without having to use a flash," a palace source told Britain's News of the World newspaper on Sunday.

The unnamed source said that the 85-year-old British monarch and Prince Philip, 90, both find the flashes "quite disorientating".
She may have a small point there. If flash is for inside and anywhere else there's poor light you'd think that in other conditions photojournalists who would know what they're doing could take perfectly good pictures without it. But then what about inside or in the evening? Isn't Betty effectively saying no pictures? What about the crowds of people who come to see and take their own pictures, often with little automatic-everything cameras or even phones that tend to flash or not flash as they rather than their owners see fit?* No pictures again, is it, Liz? Fair enough if it's on private property, whether your own (I'm not going into republican arguments about that) or that of someone else who has banned flash photography or agreed to a temporary ban for your comfort. And I'd certainly agree that any snapper who gets up close and personal before letting a powerful flash off a couple of feet from someone's face is a rude bastard who deserves to have it shoved somewhere the flash will be the only thing that shines. Apart from that though, who the hell has any right to tell everyone else not to take flash photographs in public?

If it's annoying and disorienting, and I imagine it probably is for someone in the public eye, then perhaps it's time to drop out of the public eye a bit and hand over the bulk of the appearances to various adult children and grandchildren. But to demand that nobody ever use flash photography in your presence, and on top of that in a foreign country that you're visiting for the first time - and incidentally one in which there is a small but vocal section who didn't want you there to begin with - as well your own country, is completely unreasonable in what purports to be a free country. I mean, who died and made you Que...

... oh.

* I have one of these, and while you can turn the flash off it's a pain in the arse to do and it leave a permanent whinge icon on the screen until you turn it back on again. I generally leave it switched on auto all the time.
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