Prince Philip: What it was like to spend years photographing the Duke of Edinburgh

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A man who spent years photographing the Duke of Edinburgh has described him as an "utter professional" with "a keen eye for detail".

Prince Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday 17 April. There will be just 30 guests in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions but many across the country will be reflecting on the life of the longest serving royal consort in British history.

Ahead of the funeral, Cornish photographer Tom Suddes has spoken to ITV News West Country about his fond memories of Prince Philip, having spent many years on the Royal Yacht Britannia with him.

He said: "The Duke of Edinburgh was utterly professional and he had a keen eye for detail.

"He did not miss a thing so you had to be really sharp with everything you did professionally. Behind the scenes he was great company.

Tom photographed the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh frequently, and was on the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1976 to 1979 Credit: Crown Copyright

"I was privileged when I went back to the yacht a second time as an officer to have dinner with him a number of times and he was great company.

"He was very interested in what you were doing, and had a great sense of humour. He loved a laugh and a joke whenever it was fitting.

"The royal yacht was the one place where they could go relax, and they were away from the cameras and the press and the public and they could just be themselves and the Duke used to just love to walk around the yacht."

Tom described Prince Philip as having 'a wicked sense of humour' and he 'loved a laugh and a joke' Credit: Crown Copyright

Onboard he was known as 'snaps'. After joining the Navy as a young photography recruit, Tom Suddes had the job taking photographs of the Queen and Prince Philip as they travelled the world.

He said: "The royal family were particularly good at making you feel at ease, and the Queen, in particular, was very good at making you feel relaxed.

"At the same time you were obviously aware of the job you were doing.

"I was recording history for the archives in Windsor Castle and every picture was actually quite important."

Tom Suddes frequently travelled with the royal family on their engagements and trips around the world. Credit: Crown Copyright

Tom was the official photographer onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1976 to 1979, which included the Queen's Silver Jubilee year but his first job was on a state visit to Finland.

Tom added: "The first picture I took was of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh coming up the gangway alongside before we started this visit.

"I was very nervous, here we are and this is the plum job within the photographic branch within the Royal Navy, I'm the court photographer and I'm stood in front of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and I'm so nervous I barely remember taking the picture.

"I was convinced I was going to be shaking so I had the shutter speed on the highest setting I could so that the picture wasn't shaken and it turned out quite nicely."

Prince Philip photographed with his wife, Queen Elizabeth Credit: Crown Copyright

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