The royal family's photographer picked his favourite photos of the year, and they aren't what you'd expect

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe royal family’s photographer shared his favourite moments of the year with INSIDER.
  • Getty Images royal photographer Chris Jackson shared his thoughts on his favourite photos of the year with INSIDER.
  • Jackson’s favourites include a mix of formal and candid moments.
  • His favourite photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is a playful, candid shot from a visit to a youth center in October.
  • Jackson’s favourite of Kate Middleton was taken just hours after she gave birth to Prince Louis.

With two major royal weddings and the arrival of a new royal baby, the British royal family captured the attention of the world in 2018.

Getty Images royal photographer Chris Jackson is responsible for capturing many of these big moments with the royal family, and he’s recently collected some of his best work for a new book titled “Modern Monarchy: The British Royal Family Today.”

Jackson told INSIDER which photos from 2018 stand out to him.

Here’s a look at his 22 favourite royal-family photos of 2018.


This moment at Australia’s Bondi Beach in October is one Chris Jackson’s most recent favourite photos of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle and Prince Harry on the beach in Australia.

“I love this photo of Harry and Meghan, as it captures the deep affection these two obviously have for one another,” Jackson told INSIDER. “This candid photo was captured during a ‘Fluro Friday’ mental-health event on South Bondi Beach during a 16-day autumn tour, where the pair visited cities in Australia, Fiji, and more.”


In May, Jackson captured an image of Prince Charles taking part in a traditional dance at Church Square in Crete, Greece.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesPrince Charles dancing in Greece.

“Some of my favourite images that I capture are the ones that show a side of the royal family that you don’t always get to see,” Jackson said. “[Prince Charles is] never afraid to get stuck in with the local traditions and embraces the culture.”


Jackson likes this photo of Harry giving a speech at the Invictus Games opening ceremony in October.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesChris Jackson said he thinks Harry is an ‘incredible speaker who captivates his audience.’

“I really love the way this photo is framed with the Sydney Opera House in the background and a beam of light shining directly on Harry,” Jackson told INSIDER. “I’ve always shot the Invictus Games behind the scenes, and it’s this kind of unique perspective that really gives you those different angles.”


Jackson took his favourite photo of Kate Middleton from this year shortly after the birth of Prince Louis in April.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesJackson captured this photo while Kate Middleton stood outside the Lindo Wing.

“This image really speaks for itself, the love between a mother and her son,” Jackson said. “As somebody with a child on the way, this image really stirs up a lot of emotions in me.”

Read more: The royal family’s photographer says his favourite picture of Kate Middleton from 2018 ‘stirs up a lot of emotions’


Jackson pointed to Middleton’s “incredibly elegant” Alexander McQueen gown as one of her most memorable outfits of the year.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMiddleton wore a gown by Alexander McQueen.

The duchess wore the dress to a state dinner in Oslo, Norway, and Jackson said it’s an example of the wide variety of styles he gets to capture when photographing the royals.

“It’s certainly been a fascinating year from a sartorial angle, and it’s always great to capture the different styles of all the royals and see the interest it generates around the world,” he told INSIDER.


This photo of Markle participating in one of her first walkabouts is another of his favourites.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle wrote a note for a fan during a walkabout in Cardiff, Wales, in January.

Jackson said he’s been impressed with Markle’s professionalism during such a busy year.

“So many people look up to Meghan and idolize her, and she makes time to speak and listen to as many of these people as she can,” Jackson said.


Another of Jackson’s favourite Markle moments is when she greeted a child during the 2018 Commonwealth Day service in March.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle knelt down to greet the child.

“I’ve loved capturing these moments and seeing her grow into the role of the Duchess of Sussex throughout this year,” Jackson said.


Jackson says that if he had to choose, this photo from October would be his absolute favourite shot of Markle and Harry from this year.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle and Harry had some fun during their visit to a youth center in Peacehaven, England, back in October.

Jackson previously pointed to a similar yet slightly more formal version of the photo as his favourite of the year in an interview with INSIDER and via an Instagram post, but this slightly more candid shot ended up making his year-end-favourites list instead.

“I do love a shot of Harry and Meghan during a visit to a youth center in Sussex just before the exciting news of the duchess’s pregnancy was announced,” Jackson said. “Harry cheering as the duchess bursts into laughter beside him.”

Read more: The royal family’s photographer shared his favourite photo of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry – and it’s not at all what you’d expect


Jackson also captured a sweet kiss between Harry and Markle during a charity polo match in July.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a busy year.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are known to engage in their fair share of PDA, and this perfectly timed photo is one of Jackson’s favourites.


This playful shot of Markle and Harry was taken during their visit to New Zealand in October.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle tried her hand at a boot-tossing game.

In this photo, Markle can be seen playing a game of “welly wanging,” which involves throwing a Wellington boot as far as possible.

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced off in a rubber boot throwing contest – and Meghan’s team triumphed


Jackson also loves this photo of Markle and Harry cheering on competitors in the Invictus Games in October.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle and Harry got in the middle of the Invictus Games action.

Markle made quite a splash during her appearance for her sustainable fashion choices.

Read more: A company says Meghan Markle created up to 30 new jobs just by wearing a pair of jeans – and it proves the ‘Markle Effect’ is real


Markle’s first post-wedding appearance was another of Jackson’s favourite moments.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThis was Markle’s first official engagement as a royal.

He captured some sweet interactions between Markle, Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as they stood onstage during the Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in May.

Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wore perfectly coordinating outfits for their first public appearance after the royal wedding


Jackson often accompanies the royals during their extensive tours.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle had her first major royal tour in October.

In this shot taken in October, Markle is seen performing the traditional Māori greeting, the hongi, in Wellington, New Zealand.


Harry was caught having some fun during his visit to Maseru, Lesotho, in June.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesHarry isn’t afraid to let loose.

He got active with the kids at the Mamohato Children’s Centre.


Middleton was photographed playing a round of bandy while visiting Sweden in January.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMiddleton had some fun on the ice.

The sport combines elements of hockey and football and is popular in Stockholm.


Prince William celebrates after a game of wheelchair basketball during a visit to the Copper Box Arena in this photo from March.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesPrince William joined a game of wheelchair basketball.

It’s yet another example of Jackson’s knack for perfectly timed, candid photos.


Jackson was there to document US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesJackson captured a shot of the Queen and US President Donald Trump from behind.

The visit sparked some controversy, as the Queen appeared to check her watch while waiting for Trump to make his appearance.

Read more: The queen checked her watch while waiting for Donald Trump – and people can’t get over the video


He’s also captured some sweet moments between Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesCamilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles share a loving look.

He took this photo of the couple looking lovingly at each other back in July during the opening of the Strand Hall in Builth Wells, Wales.


Sometimes Jackson gets the chance to photograph a few Hollywood stars, like Dame Judi Dench, during his travels.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesCamilla and Dame Judi Dench had an ice cream date.

In this photo from July, Camilla shares an ice cream cone with Dame Judy Dench while visiting Queen Victoria’s private beach in East Cowes England.


Jackson’s favourite Buckingham Palace balcony photo took place during the celebrations for the centenary of the Royal Air Force in July.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe balcony has become an iconic spot for photos of the royal family.

It’s a slightly relaxed group shot of the royals, with the Duchess of Sussex at its center.


One of the more recent images on Jackson’s list is this one of the Queen from November.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesJackson captured an up-close look at the Queen during the Remembrance Sunday memorial.

The close-up shot was taken during the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial.


This photo of Markle and Harry waving to the crowd is his favourite shot from the royal wedding in May.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesHarry and Markle took a carriage ride to wave to the crowds.

The royal wedding was anticipated by many, and Jackson captured more than a few widely shared photos taken on the big day. It was one of the highlights of a busy year, but it was a task Jackson was more than happy to take on.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m so grateful to be in this position, capturing moments that the royal family and the wider world appreciate,” Jackson told INSIDER. “I love what I do.”

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