(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) — ABC News has an exclusive look inside the world of Ronald and Nancy Reagan ahead of Mrs. Reagan’s funeral at 2 p.m. Friday.
Presidential photographer Roger Sandler is sharing photos from his personal archives.
“There were two sides to Mrs. Reagan,” Sandler told ABC News as he reflected on the intimate images. “First of all, she was very, very sharp. Very aware of public events. Mrs. Reagan had this uncanny ability to look down the road to have this perspective that if President Reagan had this kind of speech or pushed that kind of policy, what the effect would be.”
“She was glamorous,” he added of the former first lady. “She had great taste. It was something she told me that she couldn’t help but have, having gone through the heyday of old Hollywood.”
Sandler said the Reagans had a “tremendous love affair.”
“They were very touchy, feely, unabashedly so,” he recalled. “Mrs. Reagan, in my viewpoint, accommodated her husband. He loved the ranch. The ranch was an oasis for them, even more so than Camp David, where he could kick back, relax, do work.”
Mrs. Reagan “most preferred traveling” with her husband, “and he felt more at home, if you will, on the road when his wife was with him,” said Sandler. “Whether it was a car, a bus, a train or an airplane, they always sat side by side.”
The photographer described Mrs. Reagan as “a loving wife whose whole life was devoted to her husband and her husband’s well-being.”
“I don’t know how this woman existed once he was in the throes of Alzheimer’s,” Sandler said of the president’s struggles with the disease. “It naturally and expectantly took a great toll on her, and how she was able to last for those 12 years, I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows.”
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