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11 October 2018

PA Photo Of Meghan Markle Walking Down The Aisle Wins Royal Photography Competition

An image of Meghan Markle walking down the aisle on her wedding day taken by a Press Association photographer has been named as the overall winner of the News Media Association’s Royal Rota photography competition.

The winning photo captures Meghan Markle, now The Duchess of Sussex, walking down the aisle of St George’ Chapel in Windsor Castle on her wedding day. The photo also won the Rota Picture Agency Photo of the Year.

Photographers from the Daily Mirror and the Lynn News also won plaudits in the competition which was launched by the NMA to highlight the brilliant royal photography produced by the news media industry.  

An online public vote was held to find the best of 48 showcased photographs from national and local newspapers, agencies and freelance photographers. The vote was widely covered by outlets including The SunMailOnlineExpress and StarThe MirrorThe Maidenhead AdvertiserYahoo NewsEvening Standard and Northumberland Gazette.

The judges, who picked the winners in five categories after the public vote, praised the overall standard of entries for the competition which saw hundreds of images entered by national and local newspapers, picture agencies, and freelance photographers.

The winners in each of the categories are as follows: 

Video courtesy of John Wilson, Newsquest.

The competition was held for a third year by the NMA to promote the outstanding work of photographers in the local, regional and national news media and the NMA’s media facilities services for members which includes managing the Royal Rota – a system for covering Royal engagements and pooling material.

The judging panel for the competition was: 

  • Alan Sparrow, chairman of the UK Picture Editors Guild;
  • Chris Eades, The British Press Photographers' Association chairman;
  • Lynne Anderson, NMA deputy chief executive;
  • Martin Keene, Press Association group picture editor;
  • Dr Michael Pritchard, The Royal Photographic Society director, education and public affairs.

Dr Michael Pritchard, The Royal Photographic Society director, education and public affairs, said: “The UK’s Royal Rota plays an important part in documenting the work of the royal family. This year’s winners have found new ways of showing the royals and their activities, particularly their engagement with the wider public. Danny Lawson’s winning image showing the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is a great news picture, but his use of the light in the Chapel makes it reminiscent of an old master painting.” 

Mr Sparrow said "Congratulations on your competition. It has caught the public imagination and given them further engagement with the Royal family. The value of press coverage given to the Royal family as they go about their daily business is inestimable and helps to promote the various campaigns that they are involved in. To the press they offer an endless source of great pictures and many of them are seen here."

Mr Eades, chairman of The British Press Photographers' Association said: “Writers may think that their finely crafted words are what draw in the readers, but on any big event the words are relegated, and the front pages cleared to make way for the picture that tells the story. The picture that sticks in the mind after all the live coverage and social media have faded away.

“There are some great, and varied, pictures entered in the awards this year- and making a choice between apples and oranges is a tricky task. What does shine through is that there are some truly talented photographers working in the UK - and this year’s rota awards highlight several of those great pictures that tell a story better than any words ever could.”