Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Editor’s Note — Photos, which include near-naked male bodybuilders and a shirtless power elite athlete, have been removed.
Looking at them in intimate detail, it’s clear why the pictures have caught so much attention.
Speaking to CNN over the phone from Thailand, where he is attending an International Women’s Day event, Vivek Vemuri, the biographer and royal biographer responsible for Princess Charlotte’s biography, remembers taking the photos.
“I was shown the picture as I was writing her biography and thought ‘what on earth am I going to do with this?’ Then I thought, if it’s going to interest anyone, it’ll be if the royals have to step up as others will be more distracted by the absence of the Queen herself,” he said.
“When the Queen is out of focus, you get the duchesses and the ex-prime ministers and all sorts of politicians but she deputizes. People feel indebted to her.”
Vemuri said this is the seventh time he has taken the photos — most recently in the 1980s but “more recently” in 2015.
Today, they’re favored when published in the United Kingdom to attract attention, but they could also be used by a political party to communicate to voters in the run-up to an election.
“There is no parallel! Why wouldn’t I go on a boat with the Queen?” he says of the 2015, photo-celebrating photo-campaign .
Vemuri who said that the royals have been “surprised” by the reaction to the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pregnancy announcement, but he thinks the photos can help the public realize what the royals actually do.
British photographer Vivek Vemuri talks to CNN. Credit: Alex Huckle/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are caught in a moment and I’ve been given the opportunity to show the public behind closed doors what they do,” he said.
Having covered Princess Charlotte’s birth, Vemuri said there’s “a pressure on them to be public personas.”
He’s even thought about photographic tours of royal birthdays and anniversaries in the future.
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