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Elder son and heir of Sir Cyril Holland Shakerley, 5th Baronet, by Elizabeth Averil, née Eardley-Wilmot, he was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Oxford. After serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the KRRC and studying for the Bar exams, he decided that his interest in photography would make a more fulfilling career.
Shakerley photographed the wedding of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones; it was later admitted that Prince William's face was digitally enhanced by taking a happier smile from another photograph and placing it on some of the released shots to the press. He admitted to having used telephone directories, in time-honoured tradition, to adjust the height of some wedding guests in his shots.
He married his first wife, the actress Virginia Maskell in 1962; the couple had two children, born in 1963 and 1966, but Maskell died in 1968. On 27 July 1972, Shakerley married Lady Elizabeth Anson, daughter of Thomas, Viscount Anson, and Anne Bowes-Lyon, in Westminster Abbey. Her brother was society fashion photographer Patrick Lichfield. The Princess Anne was one of the bridesmaids. Lady Elizabeth was one of the bridesmaids to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
- Smile! William photo touched up, bbc.co.uk; accessed 23 March 2016.
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- Anne Reiter (22 June 1999), "Falwell: Lilith sucked face with she-demons", Salon, archived from the original on 5 December 1999.
- Lady Elizabeth Anson profile Archived 2007-02-04 at the Wayback Machine., worldroots.com; accessed 23 March 2016.
-  Archived 7 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.