Saturday 19 October 2019

'I had no idea she was there!' - Man told to stop taking pictures of Meghan Markle at Wimbledon says he was taking a selfie

Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex watches US player Serena Williams playing against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)
Britain's Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex watches US player Serena Williams playing against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match on the fourth day of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 4, 2019. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)
The Duchess of Sussex watching Serena Williams play (Mike Egerton/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie at a charity polo day in Berkshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Meghan with baby Archie (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Tess De La Mere

The man allegedly warned by Meghan Markles' bodyguard not to take her picture at Wimbledon has said he had "no idea" she was there.

Meghan's impromptu visit to see her friend Serena Williams play last week caused controversy when her royal protection officers told visitors not to take photos because she was there "in a private capacity".

But one of the tennis fans to get a talking to said he was just taking a snap of himself on his iPhone with Court One in the background.

Hasan Hasanov, 58, told the Sun:"I had no idea she was there!"

Mr Hasanov, an engineer, said: "I honestly couldn't really care less about taking a picture of Meghan, Harry or any of the royals - and, if I did, I'd ask first.

"I was much more interested in getting a video of Roger Federer in action."

Duchess of Sussex after watching Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Duchess of Sussex after watching Serena Williams on court one on day four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon

Having queued up since 5am, Mr Hasanov only wanted a picture to send to his wife Olga.

"It seemed crazy to me because all I did was take a selfie to send to my wife," he said.

"I was in the best seat I'd ever had in 15 years of queuing up for Wimbledon and wanted to show off because she didn't get out of bed to join me."

Mr Hassan then left the country for a holiday, and had no idea of the uproar his selfie had caused until his daughter sent him a picture of the front page of the Sun.

Read more: Candid camera: why nothing beats seeing pictures of royals like Kate and Meghan in the real world

Despite his brush with Meghan, Azerbaijan-born is still a royalist.

"I won't be getting cross about this because - to be honest - I had no idea what was going on until days later. And I'll stay a fan of the royals," he said.

When asked about the episode, Williams said she did not read the duchess's press.

"She couldn't be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments, she's always there," Williams said.

"That's all I want to be to her."

Meghan will return to Wimbledon on Saturday alongside the Duchess of Cambridge to watch the Williams play Simona Halep in the ladies' final.

Kate, patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), will also watch the men's final on Sunday with her husband the Duke of Cambridge

PA Media

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