Candid pictures of Princess Diana, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth captured in royal family fan's book

Colin Edwards has devoted his life to capturing candid moments of the royal family.

The result: an intimate royal family album, featuring unguarded shots of the likes of Princess Diana, the queen, Prince William and Duchess Kate.

Princess Diana was one of Edwards' favorite subjects. Colin Edwards
Princess Diana was one of Edwards' favorite subjects.

He shares the photos in a new book, "A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family," and revealed some of his tricks in an interview with TODAY.

"We'll you've got to arrive really early if you want to be in the front row, especially if you want a few photographs," he said.

Edwards snapped this picture of Prince William. Colin Edwards
Edwards snapped this picture of Prince William.

The man who describes himself as "an ardent royalist" says his fascination with photographing the royals up close started at the Queen's coronation in 1953.

He's not alone in his fascination, according to royals expert Camilla Tominey.

Edwards took this picture of the duke and duchess with the queen at Nottingham in 2012. Colin Edwards
Edwards took this picture of the duke and duchess with the queen at Nottingham in 2012.

"For some people, that's their life blood," she said, "and they like to record how many times they've met the royals and like to say they've been to all the main events."

By now, Edwards has spent hundreds of days, traveled thousands of miles, and shelled out thousands of dollars on the project. His new book features just under 200 photographs — just a slice of what he's taken over the last 30 years, which he says is "enough for two more books!"

Edwards Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books
Edwards liked to catch the queen smiling. Pictured in the middle is a young Prince Harry.

Of all the pictures he's taken, a few stand out as favorites — photos he's shot of the late Princess Diana, and many in which he was able to capture the queen smiling.

"I've tried to dispel this myth that the queen is always serious and glum," he said. "She's not at all!"

One of the highlights in his life of photographing royals came during William and Kate's first appearance after their engagement.

Princess Diana. Colin Edwards
The late Princess Diana.

"Kate came over full of confidence," he recalls, "and I asked her if I could have gracious permission to kiss her hand just as i used to kiss Diana's." She obliged.

He also has fond memories of Diana, who he says he came to develop a rapport with.

"She said, 'Colin, the boys love your photographs,'" he remembers.

Check out more of his photos and stories about the royal family:

Duchess Kate’s royal style

Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Support Development Opportunities For Young People In South London
Mark Cuthbert

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wears everything from fancy hats to casual tank tops. See how Prince William's wife can easily go from a high society affair to shopping on the streets of London.


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