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Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield

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The Earl of Lichfield
Lichfield in 1986
Years active1962–2005
Born(1939-04-25)25 April 1939
Died11 November 2005(2005-11-11) (aged 66)
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
(m. 1975; div. 1986)
IssueLady Rose Anson
Thomas Anson, 6th Earl of Lichfield
Lady Eloise Waymouth

Thomas Patrick John Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield (25 April 1939 – 11 November 2005), was an English photographer from the Anson family. He inherited the Earldom of Lichfield in 1960 from his paternal grandfather. In his professional practice he was known as Patrick Lichfield.


Arms of the Anson family, Earls of Lichfield

Thomas Patrick John Anson was born on 25 April 1939. He was the only son of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas William Arnold Anson, Viscount Anson (1913–1958), the eldest son and heir apparent of Thomas Edward Anson, 4th Earl of Lichfield (1883–1960). His mother was born Anne Bowes-Lyon (1917–1980), a niece of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.[1] His parents divorced in 1948, and his mother subsequently became Princess Anne of Denmark after her remarriage to Prince Georg of Denmark in 1950. He had one sister, Elizabeth Georgiana (1941–2020), who married Sir Geoffrey Adam Shakerley, 6th Baronet Shakerley.

Lichfield was educated at two boarding independent schools: Wellesley House School[2] in the coastal town of Broadstairs in Kent, and Harrow School in Harrow on the Hill in north-west London, followed by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

His father died in 1958, leaving Patrick to succeed as 5th Earl of Lichfield when his grandfather died in 1960.

Part of the exhibition of Lichfield's work, at Shugborough Hall

Lichfield joined the Grenadier Guards in 1959. On leaving the Army in 1962, he began to work as a photographer's assistant, and built up his own reputation, partly as a result of having access to the Royal Family. He was selected to take the official photographs of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and subsequently became one of the UK's best-known photographers. From 1999 onwards he was a pioneer of digital photography as a professional standard. He was chosen by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to take official pictures of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

In 2003, he made a cameo appearance in the BBC medical drama series Casualty for a story about raising money for Children in Need.[3] He also cameoed in the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, appearing in the episode "Sea Fever" as a passenger on the Queen Elizabeth 2.[citation needed]

Lichfield resided in an apartment at the former family seat of Shugborough Hall, near Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. In 1960 he had given the estate to the National Trust in lieu of death duties arising on his grandfather's death.[citation needed]

Marriage and children[edit]

Memorial stone, outside Colwich parish church, placed by Lady Annunziata Asquith

On 8 March 1975 Lichfield married Lady Leonora Grosvenor, elder daughter of Robert Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster and Hon. Viola Lyttelton. They were divorced in 1986. The Countess of Lichfield has not remarried and has retained her title. She and the Earl had one son and two daughters together:[citation needed]

Lichfield's most recent partner was the biographer Lady Annunziata Asquith,[4] daughter of Julian Asquith, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Asquith.


St Michael and All Angels, Colwich

On 10 November 2005, Lichfield suffered a major stroke and died the following day at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He was 66 years old. His funeral was held on 21 November at St Michael and All Angels Church, Colwich, Staffordshire, where he was buried in the family vault.[5]

Lichfield's apartment at Shugborough now houses an exhibition of his work, together with a recreation of his studio.[6]


  • Lichfield on Photography. London: Collins, 1981.
  • The Most Beautiful Women. London: Elm Tree, 1981.
  • A Royal Album. London: Elm Tree, 1982.
  • Creating the Unipart Calendar. London: Collins, 1983.
  • Hotfoot to Zabriskie Point (with Jilly Cooper). London: Constable, 1985.
  • Not the Whole Truth: an autobiography. London: Constable, 1986.
  • Lichfield on Travel Photography. London: Constable, 1986.


  1. ^ "Society Wedding 1938". British Pathe News. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  2. ^ Wellesley House School - The Arts - Patrick Lichfield (photographer) Archived 9 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Publisher: Wellesley House School. Retrieved: 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Maxwell Caulfield, James Redmond and Suzanne Packer boost regular cast of Casualty as it comes of age" (Press release). BBC. 1 July 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  4. ^ Bates, Stephen (12 November 2005). Lord Lichfield, Obituary, The Guardian
  5. ^ "Lichfield funeral date announced". BBC News. 18 November 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Maev (18 March 2011). "Lord Lichfield's photographs to go on display at Shugborough Hall". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2016.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Earl of Lichfield
Succeeded by