Monday, 21 Sep 2020

Prince Andrew’s role in Lady Louise Windsor ceremony exposed

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Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, took photographs of the newborn with her parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. These were the first official photographs of Louise, showing the world that, despite the traumatic circumstances surrounding her birth, she was doing very well. Louise had been born by emergency caesarean on November 8, 2003, after Sophie suffered an ectopic pregnancy, and both lost a lot of blood in the process.

The baby royal spent her first weeks in this world in a specialist neonatal ward in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London.

However, she was back with her family in time to spend Christmas at Sandringham, where she was said to be the centre of attention.

The Duke of York is a keen photographer and even published a book of his work called ‘Photographs’ in 1985.

His pictures of Louise and her father, which were taken between Christmas and New Year, were unusually informal for official royal photographs.

A royal aide told The Telegraph in 2004 that the Earl and Countess had asked him to do it and he was “delighted”.

The insider added: “[Sophie and Edward] felt it would look more natural and relaxed if the pictures were taken by a member of the family.”

The Queen, who was apparently “very upset” over Sophie’s labour complications, doted on Louise during that first Christmas.

She even agreed to pose with Edward, Sophie and the new arrival for an official photograph.

These pictures were the third official Royal Family photographs taken by the Duke of York since he bought his first camera in 1983.

Previously, he took pictures of the Queen to mark her 60th wedding anniversary and a portrait for her Golden Jubilee.

This time, he used a Canon EOS 1D digital camera.

The Duke took more than 200 pictures in total, with seven released to the media and the rest shared around with the family, each signed: “Edward, Sophie and baby Louise.”

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The Countess looked very well, seeming to have fully recovered from her emergency operation.

She apparently thinks her daughter looks like Edward, with one source saying: “She really sees him in her.”

In one of the photographs, Louise was staring up at her father, who was looking lovingly back.

In another, her little hand was reaching out to grab her mother’s finger.

Louise was also born with a condition called esotropia, which turns the eyes outwards.

She had difficulties with her vision growing up and underwent an operation at just 18 months old to try and correct it, but sadly it was unsuccessful.

She went through a second procedure in 2014, which was a success, and she can now see perfectly.

Sophie told The Sunday Express in 2015 that her daughter’s condition may have been related to her premature birth.

She said: “Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalised.

“Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it.

“You’ve got to make sure one eye doesn’t become more dominant than the other, but she’s fine now – her eyesight is perfect.”

Sophie is now a patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and a global ambassador for Vision 2020.

Prince Andrew, meanwhile, has stepped down from royal duties in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

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