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.
Thomas Patrick John Anson was born 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. His parents divorced in 1948, and his mother subsequently became Princess Anne of Denmark after her remarriage to Prince George Valdemar 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: at Wellesley House School, in the coastal town of Broadstairs in Kent, and at Harrow School, in Harrow on the Hill in North West London, followed by the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
His father died in 1958, leaving Thomas to succeed as 5th Earl of Lichfield when his grandfather died in 1960.
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 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to take official pictures of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Lichfield resided at the former family seat of Shugborough Hall, near Cannock Chase in Staffordshire although in 1960 he had given the estate to the National Trust in lieu of death duties arising on his grandfather's death.
Marriage and children
On 8 March 1975 Lichfield married Lady Leonora Grosvenor, elder daughter of the 5th Duke of Westminster and Duchess of Westminster. They were divorced in 1986. The Countess of Lichfield has not remarried and has retained her title. They had one son and two daughters together:
- Lady Rose Meriel Margaret Anson (born 27 July 1976), a goddaughter of Princess Margaret
- Thomas William Robert Hugh Anson, 6th Earl of Lichfield (born 19 July 1978); he married Lady Henrietta Conyngham, daughter of Henry Conyngham, 8th Marquess Conyngham, in December 2009. They have two sons.
- Lady Eloise Anne Elizabeth Anson (born 1981); she married Louis Alexander Philip Waymouth on 7 September 2013. They have two children.
Since 2011, the private apartments at Shugborough have housed an exhibition of Lichfield's work. His cameras and lighting gear have been set up in a re-creation of his studio, and there is a gallery of some of his most famous photographic subjects.
- Not the Whole Truth (Autobiography – Constable UK) 1986
- Lichfield on Travel Photography (Constable UK)
- Hotfoot to Zabriskie Point (With Jilly Cooper – Constable UK)
- Wellesley House School - The Arts - Patrick Lichfield (photographer) Archived 9 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Publisher: Wellesley House School. Retrieved: 2 May 2013.
- "Person Page". thepeerage.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Godchildren". mypage.uniserve.ca. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Bates, Stephen (12 November 2005). Lord Lichfield, Obituary, The Guardian
- "Lichfield funeral date announced". BBC News. 18 November 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Maev Kennedy (18 March 2011). "Lord Lichfield's photographs to go on display at Shugborough Hall". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- A selection of Lichfield's images 1964–1980
- Lichfield: The Early Years 1962–1982 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, 2003
- BBC News article on his death
- BBC News Obituary
- The Royal Family Genealogy: Thomas Patrick John Anson of Lichfield
- Memorial Service for Lord Lichfield
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
| Earl of Lichfield