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9 months ago

The Rake - April_2016

FOLLOW SUIT Lichfield on

FOLLOW SUIT Lichfield on his motorcycle in London, circa 1970.

FOLLOW SUIT Clockwise from top left: the Prince of Wales and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, 1971; the Duke of Windsor photographed for Vogue in 1967; Talitha and Paul Getty in Marrakech, 1970; Mick and Bianca Jagger moments after their wedding ceremony in Saint-Tropez in 1971. capturing them on film from 1966, went on board the Royal Yacht Britannia for cousin Elizabeth’s silver jubilee in 1977, and, edging out fellow semi-royal Lord Snowdon, was official photographer at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. Having one of the family behind the camera certainly helped relax the crowned heads, but so too did his natural confidence — what might otherwise be described as a sense of entitlement. Never fazed by the wealth or fame or self-importance of his subjects, he found it easy to control large groups, usually up a ladder with a whistle. It was this technique that gave him one of his most celebrated images of the Charles-Diana wedding, when a sudden blast had the entire party lit up. Catching royalty off guard won him his big break, too, when he was sent by Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue, to photograph the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1967. He secured the commission by giving her the correct answer to the question “Who is the best-dressed man in the world?” What won him a decade-long contract with Vogue, however, was falling through a chair in the Windsors’ garden, an act that lifted the sombre exiles to laughter, caught on film as he fell. His aspiration may have been romance, but levity was Lichfield’s trademark. It was conjured not only from royalty but also those who held a mask up to the world for other reasons, including film stars from Charlie Chaplin to Catherine Deneuve. Along with that aristocratic entitlement, it was charm that won him his greatest prizes. He was energetic, funny and fun, so that even fish as cold as Dirk Bogarde or, indeed, the Queen melted. That charm was employed in many different ways. He always 40

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