My Life Through a Lens: Former royal reporter Jennie Bond, 69, shares the stories behind her favorite photos
Celebrities share the stories behind their story favorite photos. This week it is former royal reporter Jennie Bond, 69.
Former royal reporter Jennie Bond, 69, (photo) shared the stories behind a selection of her favorite photos
1953: I am three years old, with my mother Pamela. It was probably a holiday in Norfolk, her native region. I grew up in Letchworth Garden City and had a great childhood. We weren’t rich so we were going on vacation to Norfolk or the West Country. My parents turned 90, with my mother, who devoted her life to her children, who died in 2017, almost 96 years old
1962: My two older sisters and I dressed up for fun – this Japanese robe came to us through a great-aunt. I played the piano and my sister Susan was a good singer – one of our favorites was The Mikado, based in Japan. Our father, who was a radar operator in World War II and then worked in insurance, would also set up his projector so we could look at slides from vacations we made
1966: Here’s another holiday photo, this time in Cornwall. We stayed in Pendoggett and I remember I loved that swimsuit, I thought it was the bee’s knees. I was a pretty academic girl and worked really hard at my school, which was quirky and run by nuns, so the summer break was all about relaxing. I remember flirting with the local guys and I think I caught a young fisherman in Port Isaac for a year. You couldn’t really call it a holiday romance – it was more of a snatched moment of teenage excitement. My sisters and I turned a few heads at the time!
1972: After studying French at Warwick University – a radical, crazy place in those years – I started working for a local newspaper, the Richmond Herald, and that’s me at the time. Coming out of college, I was still writing pretentiously and when I handed my first piece of text over to the editor, who was an eccentric man with a big black mustache, he ripped it right in front of me
2001: This is me outside the King Edward VII Hospital in London as a Royal Correspondent for the BBC – I’ve waited many hours outside on that windy street. This was when Princess Margaret was ill, in January, and I’m trying to warm my face and hands on the BBC cameraman lamp. I wasn’t interested in the royal family and didn’t want to say what hat the queen was wearing, so I said I wouldn’t do the job for a year until I started in 1989. But I ended up doing it for 14 years, largely because of Princess Diana – I saw history being written
2001: In addition to royal reporting, I also read the news and a group of newsreaders was invited to do something for Children In Need. We decided to pay homage to Hollywood, and Nick Witchell and I did a routine like Sandy and Danny from Grease [pictured]. We were incredibly nervous to play live on national TV. I love to dance and like to think I have a sense of rhythm, while Nick would say it’s not one of his strengths. I kept these faux leather pants and sparkling top until recently
2004: Before I moved on, I’m a celebrity, my daughter Emma said, “Whatever you do, don’t be sick on TV!” Well, I managed to eat live insects and a fisheye without vomiting. I got along very well with singer Peter Andre [pictured] and glamor model Katie Price, and I even made it to the last three. By then I had left the BBC and after the show ended I got a lot of vacancies so my guess was worth it. I also loved being able to smile on screen and be myself
2011: I don’t know the Duchess of Cornwall very well, but we did communicate in the years after Diana died and I found her charming. Here I talk to her and Kathy Lette at an event at Clarence House. I have a lot of time for Camilla and I think she should be queen. When I speak I take scatter polls on this and there is resistance just like there was to get married but it is decreasing. My opinion is simple: if your husband is called king, you should be called queen. I think we owe her that
As told to Roz Lewis. Jennie is Patron of Devon Air Ambulance (daat.org)