Davis was ‘infuriated’ when the BBC used his photograph from Princess Diana’s wedding (in background)
Royal photographer Reginald Davis is in a legal dispute with the BBC after claiming the corporation had used one of his best-known pictures without permission.
The picture concerned is the famous shot of Camilla Parker-Bowles glancing at Princess Diana as she walked down the aisle on her wedding day on the arm of her father.
US network NBC wanted to use the picture as part of its controversial documentary on the Diana tapes broadcast earlier this year, but Davis refused permission.
He then found out the picture had been used by BBC TV News in an item about the NBC broadcast and he instructed his lawyers.
Davis told Press Gazette: “They used my picture without permission and have not paid for it. This infuriated me.”
He said he was subsequently informed by the BBC that the picture had been used five times and he was offered £55 for each use.
Davis, an award-winning photographer who has accompanied the Royal Family on more than 50 state visits and tours, has put the matter into the hands of his solicitor, John Rubinstein of Rubinstein and Phillips.
The dispute centres on claims that Davis had previously signed an agreement allowing the BBC to use pictures from his entire collection – which he denies.
Rubinstein told Press Gazette: “I am disappointed that the BBC wishes to assert that this is how a reputable public institution should behave.
“If photographers really thought their collections were vulnerable to this sort of use in return for being told ‘oh, all you get is £55’, reducing your photographic archive to a fraction of what it is worth, I think everyone would be rather concerned.
“I am just surprised the BBC has not treated Mr Davis’s complaint with a little more respect.”
A BBC spokesman told Press Gazette: “We are talking to Mr Davis’s representatives and we are sure this issue can be resolved amicably.”
By Jon Slattery