Amateur Who Took iPhone Shot of Royals Speaks on Photo's Global Attention: ‘It's Changed Our Lives’

Amateur Who Took iPhone Shot of Royals Speaks on Photo's Global Attention: ‘It's Changed Our Lives’

The single mother who snapped one of the first ever photos of Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle on Christmas day has spoken of the global media attention she’s received, which includes publication of the image in over 50 outlets worldwide, saying “it’s changed our lives.”

Last month we reported on the iPhone photo Karen Anvil took of the royals. By her own admission, Anvil is no photographer, nor does she aspire to be. Regardless, she has been praised for her effort. The entire incident is a sweet story of how the hospital worker, who is a royal enthusiast, happened to be in the right place at the right time. She intends to use the profits to fund her daughter’s university education, where she intends to study nursing.

After the photo circulated the world, Anvil took on an agent. She tells the BBC of how she’ll be at her work office, when she starts to get calls about further sales. “I feel so silly,” she said.

So far, the image has been featured on the front pages of just about every British newspaper, including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, and Express. What’s more, more than 50 publications around the world have since used the photograph, including in Canada, Spain, Italy, America, and Japan. Anvil has also been interviewed on primetime British morning TV.

An image of Anvil and her daughter has even appeared in tabloid magazines in the U.K. “There's a picture of me and [daughter] Rachel in Hello [magazine] too — that's the one I was happiest about. It couldn't get any better than that […] I've had some offers to do work but they're just too cringe, to be honest.”

My daughter wants to study nursing and will have full-time working placements. But what I want is to provide for her so she doesn't have to work an extra job on top of her placements and studying.

When quizzed about the total sum from image sales, Anvil remained coy. She wouldn’t reveal the exact figure, but said it's not "millions or even half a million, [but] it's been a great help," with her agent adding that international sales had been “healthy.”

Lead image by David Dibert via Unsplash.

[via BBC]

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12 Comments

user-156929's picture

I wonder if it actually changed their lives or is merely a ride on a roller coaster, in between normalcy.

Jack Alexander's picture

Well, it potentially meant the difference for her daughter to be able to attend University or not. Although without actually knowing their financial situation, it's hard to say.

user-156929's picture

She wrote her daughter would attend nursing school but she was hoping to ease the burden of working, in addition to educational placements, but I see your point. It's kind of odd for "It's changed our lives" to be in the title without explaining how. Since the majority of the article is about the attention it's gotten, I thought it natural to assume that was the "change" she meant.

William Howell's picture

Man, I’m glad I’m American.

chris bryant's picture

I say, I am glad I am British.

Brian Pernicone's picture

She better sign up for KodakOne immediately to protect her copyright on that photo! :)

Gabrielle Colton's picture

This is incredible. Also I can never get light streaks like this with my iPhone

Allen Cooper's picture

Three things I'd like to offer... 1. Good for her and her family! 2. It always amazes me what people will pay for pictures of famous people, baffling. 3. Am I the only one wondering about that last line that mentions her agent, when did she have the time or how did she know to seek an agent out for that stuff? All that said, I say good for her for putting that money to good use!!

Jonathan Adams's picture

I saw her being interviewed...she is a single mom...not making much... She posted it online then news services started posting and asking if they could use it....she said sure....and after a few people started requesting if they could use it...others online told her to stop giving it away and suggested she needs to find an agency to represent the photo.

One photo can change lives...

Jack Alexander's picture

I followed that progress, too

Good for her, but can it really be possible that no one else there had a phone?

I do love that this proves you don't need a 47 MP full frame camera to get a decent editorial shot. So many people forget that by the time the halftone process is involved in a photo on newsprint, you can get away with so much lower resolution if all other factors (light, composition, etc.) are in place.