Lord Litchfield - Royal Photographer

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Lord Patrick Litchfield

Patrick Litchfield first used a camera at the age of six. He attended Harrow School, and took his first pictures of the Queen as he played cricket against Eton.

Could anyone ever have guessed that this wouldn't be the last time he photographed the Queen and that he would end up with a career in photography spanning 40 years and be one of the most respected photographers in the world?

Patrick Litchfield, the 5th Earl of Lichfield, was the son of Viscount Anson and Princess Anne of Denmark and was the Queen's first cousin once removed.

Litchfield spent seven years in the Grenadier Guards and left to become an assistant in a commercial London studio, working mainly as a darkroom technician.

His big break came when he was given a five year contract with American Vogue. He also worked for a range of other newspapers and magazines, including Life.

His showbusiness and aristocratic connections lead him to photographing stars like Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He was famously said to have deliberately fallen off his chair to force smiles out of his straight-faced royal subjects.

Among his other subjects were Joanna Lumley, Marsh Hunt, Roman Polanski, David Hockney and Michael Caine.

He was also associated with the likes of Burberry and Olympus during his working career and even worked with Wood's of Windsor to create Lichfield Fragrance.

Since 1978 he worked on the world famous Unipart calendar and in 1981 he was appointed as official photographer at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and his photographs were seen all over the world

He was one the official photographers of the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

His long career was celebrated in 2003 with an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He was awarded fellowships of both the British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Royal Photographic Society.

His recent commissions included a special set of pictures of Baroness Thatcher to mark her 80th birthday and further Royal work including a famous image of the Queen and Prince Phillip in profile.

Litchfield openly admitted that he had numerous relationships with his models but he was only married once, for 11 years to Lady Leonora Grosvenor, sister of the Duke of Westminster, with whom he had three children. His most recent partner was the biographer, Lady Annunziata Asquith.

Lord Patrick Litchfield worked in photography throughout his life and was a champion of the digital photography revolution.

Lord Litchfield died in an Oxford hospital on 11th November 2005 after suffering a suspected stroke whilst visiting friends near Oxford. He was 66.