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Inside The Royal Marriage Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Will and Kate

This is an interview with Matt Drury and Chris Jackson on December 8, 2011 about the television show William & Kate: Inside The Royal Marriage.

Question:
In this special will we see anything about Kate's diet and regimens?

Matt Drury:
The specific kind of personal details of her diet and things like that is not something that we've touched upon.

Question:
I know they've wanted to live in their own house and they didn't want a lot of help living with them. In what ways do we see them actually kind of upholding that and being able to live a quasi normal life?

Matt Drury:
Ben Fogle, a friend of the couple who we've interviewed in the program, said they've moved somewhere that is quite remote and they are trying to keep themselves to themselves. They don't have any live in staff. Ben was very interested in the documentary because he talks about how they are very kind of choosy with their friends and the people that they kind of close to them. They have a kind of close circle of trusted friends and there's almost this informal agreement that if anybody very close to them does talk and does reveal things like, for example, Kate's diet, then you know very quickly they'll find themselves banished from the trusted circle. I found that very interesting because it's not something that I've heard before, and it feels like sort of new information about how they manage their private life.

Question:
Chris, how were you selected for this assignment?

Chris Jackson:
It fits it into two different categories here. I work for Getty Images, the Royal Photographer, and I pretty much cover every Royal trip with Prince William and Katherine wherever they go, and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen, et cetera, et cetera.

On those trips, I've got a regular relationship with Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, and you as a photojournalist, you have to apply for the trips, and you're sort of approved or not approved. But, obviously as I've been doing it for quite a few years and it would appear a bit weird if I wasn't approved for a trip. But as we always say, the other angle that I've been doing is building a relationship with Prince William over the last couple of years, and Katherine.

I've also done a few private sheets with them, which is a completely separate issue, and that's something where you build up the relationship over the years through talking to them and generally sort of getting to know them. And they will ask you to come in and do some picture for them to be released for a charity or in advance of a trip somewhere.

So I suppose, you see, you do spend a lot of time developing a relationship but at the same time working for a large news photography agency I will say cover things from a subjective kind of neutral point of view. Often they have two different things and of course slight conflict, but essentially that's the sort of two different ways you cover things as a journalist and doing the occasional private job for the Royal family.

Question:
How would you describe your overall experience doing this documentary for the family?

Chris Jackson:
It's obviously the last year, which is pretty much, I think compared to the documentary coverage, has been an incredibly exciting time as the Royal photographer. I think it already kicked off when we found out they were getting engaged and just from there it absolutely snowballed.

And it's been incredible actually, the attention of the world has been on London to the Royal Wedding, which is an incredibly exciting time. And obviously since then everyone's been fascinated by what Kate's going to wear next, when they're going to have babies, and for my job it's been incredible. It's hugely raised the profile of images published around the world, and it's exciting to be a part of that and working with the two of the most famous people in the world really.

The trip there to Canada and L.A. was something I was really looking forward to for quite a long time. In the event it was great fun, but quite stressful actually because what comes hand-in-hand with this labeled media attention, unfortunately lots of journalists and photographers, which is great in one sense, but also it means a lot of competition, lots of people covering these trips. It means you have to be at the jobs well in advance.

Say, for example, if Prince William and Katherine were to do a job in London then you might be down there sort of three or four hours in advance to make sure you have a good position as a photographer. The same goes for trips abroad, you always have to keep on the ball what's going on, be in places in advance and traveling in different time zones, different countries.

It all gets a little bit stressful, which is sort of in complete contrast to how it used to be about a year and a half ago where there's a small group of about sort of four or five Royal photographers who covered all the trips abroad, and it was fairly relaxed. So, the pace has certainly changed, which is exciting in one sense, but very tiring in another sense. But, I - you know, we wouldn't change it for the world I think and I think it's really an exciting time to be doing what I do I suppose.

Question:
You mentioned that people who talk out of school are banished from the closed circle of friends, so why did Ben Fogle and all the other people that you interviewed, why did they talk to you and what will happen to them as a result of talking to you?

Matt Drury:
I don't think they're going to have their heads chopped off or anything like that. When we say agreement, it's a kind of an unspoken agreement. It was Ben's interpretation of that they have a kind of very close trusted friends, and Ben spoke to us. We make the documentaries in cooperation with Clarence House and all our interviewees, basically the Prince, the Duke and Duchess are aware of the people that we're speaking to and they realize themselves that can't shut off their lives because obviously it's part of their duty, it's part of their role to give something of themselves.

And so, Ben's able to talk to us, he's able to describe in generic terms the kind of life that they want to lead, so he speaks very well about that they do lead a normal life there and the Duke really values his job there as an RAF Rescue Pilot. I think the line that no one really crosses amongst their friends is just revealing as the kind of private intimate details of their life.

Sort of the question that if someone asked about Kate's diets, I mean you just wouldn't get their closest friends talking about that because that's personal, and it's personal details. I think it's the tone of it and achieving the right balance, because obviously they're aware they have to give something of themselves because they're in a public role.

That's certainly something I've heard as well, and let's say I was with Ben, we were in the bush with Prince William in Botswana, and he does have an incredibly good relationship with the Prince, and I think you're completely right that they obviously have to have a sort of presence in the media and I think people like Ben are trusted by them to give a fair side to their story.

Question:
How you characterize this documentary as a part of the Clarence House ongoing campaign to shift the coverage of these particular members of the Royal family? Is this part of a bigger picture?

Matt Drury:
I can't speak myself for the kind of Clarence House's press strategy. All I know is that our relationship with them is a good one and they trust us and to get on with the documentary and they let us do that. They don't have editorial control, they don't insist on us speaking to certain people and not speaking to certain people. They just let us get on with our job.

When we first pitched the program to them and sought their cooperation we told them that the angle that we wanted to take was seeing how they had taken the monarchy, or seem to be taking the monarchy in a new direction. I think that's probably something they're quite keen on emphasizing that they're helping to modernize the monarchy, and that's something the program focuses on throughout.

Chris Jackson:
I think one of the reasons this year has been so incredibly successful for the couple actually has been due to the incredibly tight team they have behind them, and the way that's developed over the last few years. And as Matt was saying, they're certainly taking the monarchy into a new generation.

And people like Patty Harrison and the way they've dealt with the sort of press and PR, and how they've handled Kate's public appearances, I think actually have been really successful this year. And it's going very well with a lot of the photographers and I don't think many people who cover it have a bad thing to say about that. You know, she obviously performed very well with an incredible amount of confidence from her first public appearance in North Wales.

Question:
Is this program going to be shown in the U.K. or has it already been shown in the U.K.?

Matt Drury:
No, it's a program further that we've made for NBC.

Question:
When you say that you made it for an American audience, how does that differ from making it for a U.K. audience?

Matt Drury:
I've noticed there's incredible enthusiasm for the Duke and Duchess and here, particularly with Katherine. The interest in her as a kind of fashion icon as a young role model is just seems to be fever pitched in America, and I think that's why the program was commissioned because there just seems to be this insatiable appetite for the Duchess of Cambridge.

And what we sought to do was to just try and set that in context with the traditional roles of what maybe perhaps previous generations how they've approached it. So, there's a guy called Hugo Vickers who's a Royal biography talks in the program about how the previous generation of Royals, i.e., the Queen's children, they always attempted these things of trying to be informal, of trying to sort of roll up their sleeves and do things on public tours, but they always looked quite uncomfortable doing it.

But with the Duke and Duchess it seems to come naturally to them. There's no kind of awkwardness, there's none of that, you saw them in Canada and we concentrated on it in the program where the Duke flies a helicopter and lands it on the water, the Duke and Duchess get into some dragon boats and take part in a race. Whenever those kind of things have been attempted in the past it's just feels wrong, and it just feels really uncomfortable. I think that's been something we tried to bring

I mean he's sort of faking it. He comes to him very naturally. He's like a modern Prince, so to speak. It sounds a bit corny, but I think it's probably true. He's pretty relaxed. You know, they embrace things like Twitter and release statements on Twitter and all of kind of the modern mediums available to them. And I just think that he's not forcing it, it comes naturally, so that's why Matt it just comes across a lot better.

Question:
Chris, what's your relationship with Royal couple, and how much time have you spent photographing them

Chris Jackson:
From a sort of quest point of view, I've spent many hours photographing them. From a private point of view, I've done, let's see, a couple of different shoots. I did a shoot in the run up to the Canada trip, which went for a couple of hours. And on each trip you do a team picture at the end, so you spend a little of time with them, and I've done stuff with Prince William in the past in Botswana. Actually, when Ben Fogle was there in the bush in Botswana, say we spent the night Prince Harry in a bush camp in Botswana, and obviously Katherine wasn't there at that stage.

I've obviously been photographing Prince William for a while, sort of last seven years and as Katherine only sort of became, as I only do the official photography, she only sort of turned official, so to speak, at the time when they announced their engagement. That was the first time I photographed her and I pretty much covered every one of her engagements between then and there. I think the last time I photographed her was a couple of days ago when they went to the Royal Albert Hall, and yeah, it's been a good year.

Matt Drury:
I suspect Chris is being a little modest, because there was one section in the program where there's a very private exclusive reception in L.A. that was for a charity of the Tusk charity and there was I think one or two photographers, Chris, invited to it and Chris was one of them, so that's partly why he's in the documentary is that he is one of the trusted photographers that works with the Duke and Duchess.

Chris Jackson:
I do quite a lot of work with the Prince's charities. I do a lot of stuff with the Tusk Trust. I've done a few projects with them, and obviously Sentebale, Prince Harry's charity, and that sort of ties in quite a lot with them with doing some private work with the Princes.

So, yes, so that Tusk Trust reception in L.A., which featured in the documentary, that was something at Steve Tish's house Beverly Hills, and it was great. It was really a fun even actually, because there was about 30 different highly influential people there. It was actually the Head of Disney and a few other people, and they were all so excited to meet the Prince and Katherine. I can't explain. I think the sort of hype was at its peak right at the end of that ten day trip to Canada and L.A.

And I think one of the bits that features in the documentary is when Katherine met Reese Witherspoon, and that's a bit show where Reese is just looking at her in complete awe. I think she was really excited to meet her. But, I think what I explain in the documentary is that the great thing about photographing royalties it kind of transcends celebrity and you've got an A list Hollywood star and she's really excited about meeting Kate.

There's quite a few different things like that, so it's much nicer to work when you're the only photographer. It's just a lot more relaxed and you can make sort of slight more creative pictures. And it was great to do the shoot. It's a shoot we did before Canada. It was great. I spent about two hours doing it, so it was a good opportunity to, yeah, spend time with them, so that was good.

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