mercoledì 7 agosto 2013


I don’t remember how many days went by after that July 27 1964 , when the Royal Family of the Netherlands allowed us to be photographed inside their estate “L’Elefante Felice” at Porto Ercole , ( in Tuscany , Italy ) wise decision to avoid useless long and disagreeable watchings from us photographers around their residence and laborious hard controls by security presence.

It happened a strange case that will never come again in “paparazzi” history

( that I prefere call press photographers considering the intention and destination of what our product is ) that I go on now telling you.

Did you ever imagine to go dining with a Queen ? Well, that’s what really happened to me photographer from Milan with other three photographers like me from Rome that August 1964 , all Italians: we got a dinner date from Her Majesty The Queen Juliana of The Netherlands , the time was…? Don’t remember…

We arrived on time at the only restaurant of Porto Ercole small harbour , casual dressing short sleeved allowed , no necktie , we took our seats at a long table under neon lights , under a vine pergola three steps up on the way in.

I , with three fellows sitted on the right after me…and Her Majesty Queen Juliana beside me on my left side , while on the front side were sitted Prince Consort Bernard of The Netherlands , and at his right Her Majesty Crown Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands ( next Queen ) , while on left hand side at table’s end was His Majesty King Constantine of Greece , recently exhiled from the Greek Colonels actions , and beside him was His Majesty Prince Juan Carlos di Borbone , heir of Spain Kingdom….four crown heads…something like a Royals Wedding…but all were dining short sleeved only with photographers and no one else.

We all took action on our crayfishes, removing off their shelly cover with nude hands , mine of a photographer , and those of Her Majesty Queen Juliana , with whom unintentionally caused by chair to chair nearness , and labor on crayfishes the touching elbow to elbow was made unavoidable.

None press officer or else was sent scouting “who or who not” would have gone to this dinner , it simply had been Her majesty The Queen Juliana meeting us at Porto Ercole Yachting Club non-representationally inviting us. Perhaps also for them Royals the end of summer vacations was closer , and our making probably discreet and well published had been appreciated.

No one of the Italian or Dutch security system was there or otherwise not visible.

Great times…gone…

Text © Gino Begotti

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