A cameraman from Southwater has described the ‘spine tingling’ moment his footage of the royal baby’s first public appearance was broadcast across the world.
After camping outside the Lindo Wing of the St Mary’s Hospital solidly for three weeks, Steven Padwick gained prime position on Monday, July 22, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged with the future King of England.
“A tingle went down my spine,” explained the 54-year-old. “As soon as I took those pictures I knew they were going worldwide instantly. I was excited, it’s not something you get to do very often and one that the grandchildren will love.
“It was going out live on all the major networks and American networks. Everyone took my pictures although BBC, ITN and Sky have access to it as well. It’s gone absolutely everywhere.”
On the evening of Sunday, June 30, Steven’s journey began when he took to the streets of London doing 12 hour shifts in anticipation to break the news.
Steven explained how the once in a lifetime job, which he was doing for Associated Press, came about after a call out of the blue from a friend.
He said: “He was in South Africa doing Mandela when he said he had a little project for me. I said ‘what terminal do I go to?’ thinking I was going out to South Africa but he wanted to get early positions secured.
“I was the very first one there. It was just me, four tripods and a helper. There were no barriers, no press absolutely nothing just me and I sat there all night long guarding this position.
“It was really weird with tripods and no cameras,” he continued. “It was like going in to battle without a gun but it was worth all the aches, pains, sunburn and everything else.”
The night before the birth, Steven described ‘a slight atmosphere change’ at around 10pm, with the royal couple arriving shortly afterwards.
Speaking about how all the press kept themselves amused, he said: “We were winding each other up all the time and I was actually interviewed myself by a lot of television companies.
“I’d like to get copies of them actually because it looks like I’m multi-lingual. It’s been dubbed in Chinese, Japanese, Fench, German, Italian.”
But the eventual arrival was more significant to Steven than he first had thought.
“We had a sweepstake back right at the beginning of July,” he said. “ It was what day, gender and time. You had to get all three not just one. So I bet July 22, at 4pm and a boy - and I won the sweepstake.
“This was like three weeks prior and everyone was saying ‘you can’t bet that far in advance’ but I did because it was my birthday, so he was born on my birthday and that was brilliant. I got it completely right.
“I also said I think it’s going to be called George as well. I could be more famous than Russell Grant!”
Steven has had a very colourful career as a cameraman since he left school at the age of 16.
Starting out at Shepperton Studios, Middlesex, he worked his way up before working on major feature films as a camera assistant and doing lighting then joined ITN in 1983 for ten years - but he puts covering the royal birth up there with the best.
“As a hard news cameraman I was going around the world covering various wars here, there and everywhere then started freelance.
“But this was big news. It’s the third in line to the throne and the first major royal born this century and I got the main shot and the best position - what more could you want?”
Steven now hopes to focus on his new business, Southwater Coach Tours, with joint owner Terry Flint but will continue on freelancing as a cameraman.