Lucy Birley

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Lucy Margaret Mary Birley (formerly Ferry; née Helmore; 18 September 1959 – 23 July 2018)[1][2] was a British model and London socialite, who was divorced from Roxy Music lead singer Bryan Ferry and married to Robin Birley.[3]


Birley was born in Shropshire.[4] Her father worked for many years at the Lloyd's of London insurance corporation. She was photographed by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and was a London socialite for years, attending parties and fashion shows. "She was making an impact on the fashion world too, beyond her modelling assignments. Designers such as Christian Lacroix, Manolo Blahnik and Philip Treacy have cited her as an influence on their work".[5]

Birley (then Helmore) posed as the cover model for Roxy Music's album Avalon,[5] wearing the helmet. Only 22 and with Ferry 14 years her senior, they married on 26 June 1982, at the Church of St Anthony and St George at Duncton, West Sussex.[citation needed] The couple have four sons: Otis, Isaac, Tara, and Merlin.[2]

The Ferrys divorced on 31 March 2003; Helmore was reportedly paid £10 million in the settlement. In October 2006, she married Robin Birley, the 48-year-old son of Lady Annabel Goldsmith and Mark Birley.[3]

Birley died on 23 July 2018, aged 58, of a self-inflicted gunshot while on holiday in the Republic of Ireland.[2] Her husband announced her death in an emotional statement, released in conjunction with her children: "On Monday Lucy Birley (nee Helmore) passed away whilst on holiday in Ireland, surrounded by her beloved dogs, Daisy, Peg and Daphne. Her husband Robin, and her sons – Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin – are understandably devastated and request that their privacy be respected during this difficult time".[2]


  1. ^ "Lucy Birley: Model, photographer and pro-hunting campaigner". The Independent. 31 July 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Powell, Tom (24 July 2018). "Bryan Ferry's ex-wife Lucy Birley dies on holiday aged 58". Evening Standard.
  3. ^ a b Betts, Hannah (26 July 2018). "The sadness of the gilded society Set". The Daily Telegraph. pp. 21–22.
  4. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
  5. ^ a b "Faces of the week". BBC NEWS. 24 September 2004.