"The Queen is a fabulous lady to work for," says her personal cameraman Peter Wilkinson, who has followed her for the last decade on engagements such as Friday's visit to the Royal Legion's new headquarters where the monarch received flowers from nine-year-old George Taylor
Photo: © Rex
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Four years ago Peter (with camera), who is an employee of ITN, BBC and Sky News, was recognised with a Royal Victorian Order honour
Photo: © PA
Royal cameraman praises queen's 'compassion' and 'amazing smile'
2 MARCH 2009
As the Queen's first personal cameraman he has travelled the world capturing the key moments of the last decade of her reign. Now in his first interview about the post Peter Wilkinson has given a unique insight into the personality of "this fabulous lady".
The cameraman spoke of her great sense of humour, patience and "real compassion", which he noted when the monarch visited victims of the July 7 bombings in 2005.
"Her smile really does brighten up a day. It's an amazing smile," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "The day after the 7/7 bombings she was there comforting (the) injured and holding people's hands.
He also spoke of the monarch's own sadness at the death of her mother, the Queen Mother. "(It was) not just at the funeral, but particularly when she laid a wreath of poppies – taking the place of the Queen Mother – at Westminster Abbey in 2003," he recalled.
In happier times he accompanied the Queen to Sandringham, where she described her pet corgis as "great companions" and praised their flexibility in adapting to various royal homes as they move with her.
Peter - whom the sovereign honoured four years ago by making him a Member of the Royal Victorian Order, which recognises those who've served the monarch with distinction - said he will stay on in the position for another three years so he can cover her Diamond Jubilee. "It will be an amazing year and I don't want to miss it", he says.