Royal Wedding Photographer Reveals the 'Magic Word' That Got All 10 Kids to Behave for Portrait

Royal or not, all kids can be bribed with the promise of candy, as Alexi Lubomirski learned as the royal wedding's photographer

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Royal or not, all kids can be bribed with the promise of candy!

That’s what Alexi Lubomirski, the photographer who snapped the official portraits at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s wedding on Saturday, quickly learned when posing the 10 children in royal bridal party for photos.

“I’ve been asked by everybody, ‘How did you control the kids?’ And as we were setting up the big family shots, and I was placing The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty onto their chairs, I could hear the kids started crying in the background and there was some chaos,” he recalled in an interview on Wednesday. “And then I heard this magic word behind me that was Smarties, which is obviously an English Candy, much like M&Ms, and they were being bribed with one Smartie here and one Smartie there. So as soon as the kids came onto the set, I immediately just shouted out, ‘Who likes Smarties?’, and then everybody hands up, smiles, even some of the adults I think put their hands up.”

He added, “And so that was our magic word of the day, so thank you, Smarties.”

Alexi Lubomirski/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Lubomirski, who also took the couple’s dreamy engagement photos at Frogmore House in Windsor late last year, was tasked with doing six photo setups in just 25 minutes.

But despite their rush, the fashion photographer says there was a “joyful” attitude in the room.

“There were lots of smiles,” he said. “It was like a family room after a wedding, you know some parents were trying to wrangle the children, other uncles and aunts were talking to their nephews and nieces. It was a family, that was essentially what it is.”

RELATED VIDEO: Harry and Meghan’s Love Story

And that’s the feeling Lubomirski wanted to evoke in his official portraits.

“I wanted it to feel like a family picture, I didn’t want it to feel too much like a sports team photo or an army sort of photo, very sort of regimented and linear,” he explained. “And so we talked about how we could break it a bit, and get some rhythm into the picture, and some asymmetry, and it all came down to things, just very little tiny things, we weren’t going to do anything crazy, but just in terms of how you shot the room, rather than going straight on and making everything symmetrical, we were twisting it a bit, and then also where we were placing people, we wanted some people sitting, some people standing, some kids on parents’ laps. That was a huge thing for me to get that realness out of it.”

REX/Shutterstock; Hugo Burnand/AFP/Getty

Along with the two photos of Harry and Meghan with their wedding party, the couple also released a solo shot of the couple sitting on the steps of the East Terrace at Windsor Castle. The candid black-and-white shot shows Harry and Meghan both wearing big smiles, with Meghan sitting between Harry legs and looking off into the side, as Harry beams at the camera.

Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s official photo, taken in the throne room at Buckingham Palace after their 2011 wedding, is much more formal than Meghan and Harry’s. Kate and William stand side-by-side, arm-in-arm and smile at the camera in a dignified, but a bit more stiff portrait. Photographer Hugo Burnand took their portraits.

  • Watch our full special, Meghan and Harry – a Fairy-Tale Wedding, on PeopleTV, now available on and on your favorite streaming device.

“It has been an incredible honor and privilege to document The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s inspiring journey of love, hope and family; from the engagement photos, all the way through to the official wedding and family portraits on Saturday,” Lubomirski said in a previous statement. “This has been a beautiful chapter in my career and life, that I will happily never forget.”

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