The cream of Britain’s photographers and camera crews were out in force on Christmas Day to get the perfect shot of the royals on their way to their annual church service in Sandringham.
But it was a single mum and royals fan who may have snagged the best shot of them all.
Karen Murdoch, from the nearby village of Watlington, went to Sandringham on Christmas morning in the hope of simply catching a glimpse of the royals on their way to St Mary Magdalene church.
Ms Murdoch, 39, not only saw the royals, but also managed to get a snap which is being hailed as a piece of history – one which also stands to make her a pretty penny.
As Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and (Harry’s fiancée) Meghan Markle passed by, Ms Murdoch called out to the quartet and snapped what is believed to be a world-first – a shot of the two princes with their wife and fiancée, respectively, in their public appearance together.
— Karen Anvil (@Anvilius) December 25, 2017
Each one of them is smiling, and all but William appear to be looking into the camera – a natural, feel-good, well composed image.
The photograph caused a sensation, hitting the front pages of many of Britain’s leading daily newspapers, including The Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Sun.
Ms Murdoch posted the image on Twitter about about 11pm (local time) on Christmas Day with the hashtags “#Sandringham #MeghanMarkle #Kate #PrinceHarry #PrinceWilliam”, which sparked thousands of likes and requests from several media outlets for usage.
By Wednesday afternoon (AEDT), the photo had attracted more than 65,000 likes. The previous best for Ms Murdoch (who goes by Karen Anvil on Twitter) was just five, according to the BBC.
See Ms Murdoch interviewed by Nofolk Now
Hours later, as she was still receiving messages from media organisations asking for permission to use the picture, some Twitter users advised her to get an agent to handle the photo and not simply give it away.
“I’m so happy you like the photo! I have been advised to tell everyone that I retain the copyright and anyone who would like to use or share my photo please DM me! Thanks again have a lovely Christmas x,” Ms Murdoch posted on Twitter on Boxing Day.
In an interview with local media outlet, Norfolk Now, Ms Anvil said while she never set out to make money from the picture, the public reaction made her realise the potential value of the picture.
Had a lovely morning at Sandringham with my daughter! pic.twitter.com/XceMtXDlBM
— Karen Anvil (@Anvilius) December 25, 2017
She said she would use any money earned from the image to fund her daughter Rachel’s education or career.
“I’m a single parent, a proud single mum … the thing is – and I hate to play the single mum card – I’m a single parent, I work two jobs, which I’m proud of and I’ve always worked,” she said.
“Now I want to save money for my daughter for [university] and if I can do that, and can get that opportunity that’s amazing.”
Arthur Edwards, royal photographer at The Sun and veteran of more than 200 royal tours, was also at Sandringham and conceded to the BBC Ms Murdoch’s image was the best of the day.
“Getting all four of them lined up like that – it was a stunning snap,” he told the broadcaster.
“It was pot luck her being in the right spot, but she still got the photo.
“I rang her up to congratulate her on getting the front page of The Sun today.”
Ms Murdoch put the near-perfect shot down to her “bubbly” personality.
“I’m just very bubbly by nature and I was with my daughter and I got a bit excitable, I suppose,” she said.
“I was just sort of shouting and I just went ‘Merry Christmas!’ like an idiot. I was fan-girling. That’s all I said and got them to look.”
Harry talks about ‘fantastic’ Christmas
Prince Harry has said his fiancee had a “fantastic” time with the Queen and his family over Christmas.
Harry was quizzed about his festive break with Meghan during his guest editorship of BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs program.
Asked about how she coped meeting the “in-laws” the prince replied: “It was fantastic, she really enjoyed it.”
The prince interviewed former US president Barack Obama for the program and in the discussion the statesman warns that the irresponsible use of social media is distorting the public’s understanding of complex issues and leading to the spread of misinformation.
The prince joked about whether Obama had been invited to his wedding next May, when asked if he was on the guest list.
Harry said: “I don’t know about that. We haven’t even put the invite or the guest list together. Who knows if he’s going to be invited or not. I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”