If you’re obsessed with the royal family, you’re probably obsessed with royal photographer Chris Jackson, too. After all, he’s the one providing a window into their world whether that means capturing Prince George’s fourth birthday portrait for the palace or shadowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their Australian tour. This month, he’s releasing a brand-new book Modern Monarchy that chronicles all the iconic—and under-the-radar—royal moments he’s snapped along the way. We caught up with him for an exclusive chat about the surprising things he’s learned following their every move.

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Love is the Real Deal

Flash back to the Invictus Games in Toronto when it was confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were, in fact, a couple.

“To see them both walk out together hand in hand, that was a big moment,” Jackson says. “It was all totally secret before that. I photographed Harry as a solo royal for so many years and he’s great fun to photograph. He has a real kind of energy. But to see this whole new dynamic with Meghan? It’s been great to capture them together. They work so well as a team.”

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Princess Charlotte Isn't Stealing the Scene Intentionally

We all know Charlotte becomes the center of attention at literally any event she attends. But Jackson reveals that it might actually be totally unintentional.

“When Prince George and Princess Charlotte join their parents on a royal tour, it adds a whole new dynamic to the trip because the children are more unpredictable. That’s one of the nice things, though. Like when Charlotte was presented with her first bunch of flowers in Germany. I know it will happen a lot in her future royal life, but for the first one, she just took a big sniff. Those are the moments that make me smile behind the camera. It’s lovely to capture those shots.”

prince harry meghan markle in sussex
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry and Meghan Have a Sneaky Way to Make Sure All Eyes Are On Them

Jackson is the first to admit: Group shots can be super boring. But when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are in the photo, they know just how to command all the attention: they hold hands.

“One of my favorite photos is one I took of Harry and Meghan two weeks ago at a youth center in Sussex. There was a group photograph and group photographs are normally not very exciting. But they’re clearly very fond of each other and they sat there holding hands and it was just a lovely interaction between the two of them. I knew it when I took it.”

royal family trooping the colour
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

These Two Royals Are By Far the Most Real

While Jackson admits, you never know what you're going to get when photographing such a variety of royal occasions, there are two people who always bring out the best in the royal clan. 

“Prince George or Princess Charlotte are just beginning their royal lives, so to speak, and, often times, they spur some of the more human interactions between all of them.”

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

There's One Thing About the Queen That Makes Her Totally Unique

We all know she's iconic and that she's the one steering the ship. But Jackson explains, there's something about Queen Eliz that makes her one of a kind: her presence.

“One of the biggest privileges of my job is photographing the queen. You could be anywhere in the country at a seemingly low-key engagement, but if the light falls in the right way or you get a lovely expression, then it all comes together in one picture and that image could live on in history. Certainly, when she’s attending an event with other members of the royal family, those are my favorite interactions to capture. Like when she is talking to Prince George at Princess Charlotte’s christening. She just has this amazing presence and aura about her that’s totally unique. It makes you proud to be British.”

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