New Zealander Simon Woolf may have just taken most popular photograph of the royals in New Zealand ever. The photo is of Prince George who is leaning on his mothsr’s shoulder with Prince William in the background. won’t see a cent for his wildly-popular royal tour image.
It was taken at Government House on the third day of the tour as the young Prince was being carried through to meet other children at Plunket for his first official royal engagement.
Mr Woolf who is a professional photographer and Wellington City councillor, was given exclusive access to a side room that adjoined the waiting Plunket families, when he snapped the photo which he admitted could be the defining photo of his career.
Within a matter of hours after it was put on the Government House Facebook page the photo had 1.4million views.
It has since been on the cover of many major institutions including Hello, The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, and on many TV channels.
Estimates suggest that his photo has been seen more than 1 billion times, which would put it on par with fellow New Zealand photographer, Brian Brake’s famous Monsoon Girl photo.
“There was a bit of a plan for a family photo but it fell to pieces because they allowed George to sleep for an extra half-hour.” Mr Woolf explained. This meant he had as little as 20 minutes notice that he would be in that position to take a photo.
At first, he thought the photo was “reasonable” but had no idea how sharp the image was. His phone rang until past midnight the next day with news agencies accross the globe requesting more information or different files of it.
However, as the photo was taken on the royal pool system, Mr Woolfe will not see a penny for his work. This is because if on the pool system on royal tours, the photographers have to share images freely.
But he said he had “absolutely no regrets” despite the fact he would have been a millionaire if he had sold the image.
At the end of the tour he presented the royals with a framed, black and white copy of the photo. He claims that it is the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite photo of the tour.
Photo Credit with kind permission from The Governor General of New Zealand’s office/Woolf /Crown