Princess Diana’s Photographer Anwar Hussein Recalls Moments With ‘Shy Di’

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Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

Princess Diana was one of the most photographed women in the world.

And royal photographer Anwar Hussein, who's been capturing the royals, including the Queen, for half a century, is one who captured the late Princess of Wales in some of her most famous photographs, before she tragically died aged 36.

Hussein, who is from Tanzania originally and arrived in the UK in 1962, has now recalled private moments from his time spent with the princess.

He explained her evolution from 'shy Di' in 1980 to the confident icon she later became.

Hussein, whose images appear in the walk-through documentary Princess Diana: Accredited Access, open in Chicago and Los Angles and due to kick off in New York after, said: 'The story of Diana unfolded in front of us.'

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

'I saw every side of Diana. She was a genuine, good human being.'

'You could see her go from shy Di, looking down, to becoming stronger — which she had to do. She wanted to prove she was brave enough to do what she wanted.'

Hussein, 83, also highlighted that although Princess Diana confessed to feeling awkward when posing for photographers, 'she had a canny way of showing her mood — whether she was happy or unhappy'.

He explained: 'It came naturally to her, but she also knew which pictures would go around the world.'

The exhibition's curator, Cliff Skelliter, has said: 'The personal relationship between a princess and a photographer who's with them all the time — they've got a closeness but also a distance in order to get a really interesting take.'

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

Hussein's sons, Samir and Zak, have followed in their father's footsteps in royal photography and have captured the likes of Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Zak previously told the LA Times that Hussein may have taken 'potentially a million pictures' of Princess Diana.

'All archived, in transparencies, filed away in cabinets,' he added.

As well as showing iconic images of the late princess, the Princess Diana: Accredited Access exhibition will feature undisclosed audio stories documenting various aspects of the late princess' life, including motherhood, marriage, fashion and her philanthropic work.

These will be narrated by Hussein, as explained on the exhibition's website.

The one-of-a-kind exhibition also documents her isolation from the royal family.

In Hussein's interview with the LA Times, he recalled photographing Princess Diana when she was in different moods.

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

'Quite a few times I photographed [Diana] where she hit on a canny way of dressing to express her feelings, whether she was happy or unhappy,' he said.

'Other times, she would isolate herself, and I managed to get quite a few of her on a polo ground.

'Very rarely do you see [members of the] royal family alone.

'They are always surrounded by people. But she would remove herself, and I captured this a few times. This quite shows her loneliness and her wanting to be alone.'

Addressing how much he misses her, he revealed: 'Yesterday, I was looking at the pictures and I was almost in tears.'

Back then, Hussein, who photographed the princess not just when she was a member of the royal family, but before she met Prince Charles, as well as at her and the prince's engagement, wedding and honeymoon, spoke similarly of her.

'She had so much empathy. She went very quickly from innocent shy Di to become a very brave and positive person,' he said at the time.

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

Just yesterday it was announced that the public are invited to submit their own photos of the royal family at official engagements for a chance at featuring in an exhibition called 'Life Through a Royal Lens' which celebrates images of the monarchy.

The public's photos are set to appear alongside the work of heroic photographers such as Rankin, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Parkinson.

And when Middleton's 40th birthday portraits were released earlier this month, of which subtly reference Princess Diana and the Queen, it was revealed that they would be included in a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens next year.

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