Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton are partners in life, but when it comes to sports, the pair enjoy healthy rivalries.

“They’re definitely very competitive. They’re both very sporty,” royal photographer Samir Hussein exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 11, while promoting the Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition. “They’ve competed many times over the years, be it boat races or even though even sprint races … and they’re always very competitive.”

He added: “It’s always fun when you see that because you can see humor come out and their competitive side come out.”

William, 41, previously discussed how the “team environment of sport played a big part” in his life. The prince revealed during a September 2023 episode of Mike Tindall’s “The Good, The Bad & The Rugby” podcast that he “gelled and loved” the “competitiveness with your mates.”

He revealed that the “camaraderie, that relationship-building [and] learning to lose” aspects of sports is something he wanted his and Kate’s three children to learn.

Kate, 42, claimed during the podcast that Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 9, and Prince Louis, 6, didn’t get their drive to win from her. “I’m really not that competitive. I don’t know where this has come from,” she teased. “I do think [Will and I] haven’t been able to finish a game of tennis. It becomes a mental challenge between the two of us.”

Samir, for his part, has had a front row to the royal family alongside his father, Anwar Hussein, and brother, Zak Hussein, who have worked as official photographers for decades. Anwar has been taking pictures for 60 years, many of which highlighted the late Princess Diana’s life as a royal and beyond.

Samir, on the other hand, has had many encounters with Diana’s sons, William and Prince Harry, as well as their spouses, Kate and Meghan Markle.

One of Samir’s “stand out” memories with the Prince and Princess of Wales took place nearly a decade ago during a trip to India and Bhutan. The royal tour once again showed off their sporty sides.

“William and Kate sort of tried their arm at some archery and they both looked great. Kate was in traditional clothing and when it was her turn, I sort of moved around to move directly opposite where she was firing,” Samir recalled to Us of the April 2016 outing. “She fired the arrow and for a second it looked like it was coming straight towards me.”

He recalled running “out of the way” but managed to pick up his camera “just in time” to capture a real moment between William and Kate.

“Kate just laughing [her] head off [and then] sort of scampered away. It’s just a very natural picture,” Samir told Us. “You’ve got William by her side and they’re both just sort of laughing [their] heads drop straight down [toward] the camera.”

The photographer remembered the “unusual setting” that showed the royals doing archery in a “beautiful location” while wearing vibrant clothing.

Samir added that in those snapshots when they’re “sort of laughing and they can really sort of be themselves” fans get to see “a little bit more of their personality.”

He revealed that side of the royal family, especially Diana, will be on full display at The Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition. The photography exhibition — which is currently housed at the Dockside Vaults in London as well as other international cities — is a “visual journey” of Diana’s most recognizable photos with behind-the-scenes stories from her official photographers.

Learn more about the exhibit on the official website.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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