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News Release - Issued by Beningbrough Hall

Lichfield: A Royal Album

Photography exhibition at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens
Tuesday 2 September - Sunday 2 November

Her Majesty The Queen on board HMY Britannia in March 1972.
Part of a series of photographs taken for use during the Silver Wedding Celebrations in 1972.

An exhibition of photographs by one of Britain's most renowned photographers is coming to Beningbrough in autumn, as part of Royals: then and now.

In collaboration with Lichfield Studios, the National Trust’s Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens will play host to an exhibition of the Lichfield Studios’ photographs of the Royal Family. The selection includes formal portraits as well as some more informal moments, for which Lichfield is so notable. It will run from Tuesday 2 September to Sunday 2 November (Tuesdays – Sundays).

“As a member of the family, Lichfield connected with the royals in a way that other photographers perhaps couldn’t.” says David Morgan, General Manager at Beningbrough. “His photographs give a fascinating glimpse into the world of Royalty, and alongside our current display of Royals: then and now, they capture a much more relaxed style of how the Royal family have been portrayed over the centuries.”

Penny Breia, Trustee of the Lichfield archive said:
“Lichfield Studios is delighted to have been invited to feature a collection of Lichfield images of The Royal Family, ranging from iconic shots to rarely seen pictures, at the extremely prestigious and popular exhibition 'Royals: then and now' at Beningbrough Hall.”

First cousin once-removed to The Queen, the 5th Earl of Lichfield, Patrick Lichfield, as he was known professionally, was invited to photograph the Royal Family on numerous occasions. He had an easy personality and his subjects invariably felt relaxed in his presence.

In one picture to be shown at Beningbrough, The Queen is caught in an off-duty moment, laughing and relaxed aboard the Royal Yacht, Britannia. In another, a young Prince Charles at Balmoral opens his arms to Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones in a tender gesture of affection. And at the Kent wedding in June 1968, The Queen Mother is engrossed in conversation with Sir John Betjeman; the scene is as natural as any image from our own photograph albums.

A photograph of the reclusive Duke and Duchess of Windsor, relaxed and smiling at the camera is also part of the selection. Lichfield played court jester to get the smile; he purposely fell through a cane garden chair, taking the photograph as he went down. The resulting shot was published in Vogue.

Beningbrough is proud to offer the opportunity for this behind-the-scenes look at The Royal Family alongside the more formal portraits currently hanging in the hall on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. These include works by Nicky Philipps, Chris Levine, Andy Warhol and Mario Testino.

The exhibition is open concurrently with the Hall - Tuesday to Sunday, 2 September to 2 November from 11am to 5pm - normal admission rates apply or free entry to National Trust members.
For more information, visit or tel: 01904 472027.


For more information, to book a visit or for images to use, please contact:

Jo Parker
Marketing and Events Co-ordinator, Beningbrough Hall, Gallery & Gardens
01904 472017 (direct) 472027 (office)

Notes to editors:

Images available for release to the media for usage only in connection with the forthcoming Lichfield exhibition at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens, no cropping and credit to be used at all times:

Photography or recording opportunity on Monday 1 September once works in situ ahead of opening to the public.

Full list of photographs on display:
1. Collapsed Group.
2. Duke and Duchess of Windsor
3. Duke of Windsor Contact Sheet
4. Duke of Windsor Playing Cards
5. Princess Margaret and the Mustique Group 1973
6. Prince of Wales and Lady Sarah Jane Armstrong-Jones
7. Princess Anne (Monkey Bike)
8. Princess Margaret and Friends (Mustique)
9. Princess Margaret Tree Planting
10. Princess Margaret at the Cazalet: Hornby Wedding
11. Princess Margaret, Mustique
12. Princess of Wales and her bridesmaids
13. Queen and Prince Phillip Jubilee shot
14. The Queen Dancing an Eightsome Reel
15. Queen Mother and John Betjeman
16. Queen on HMY Britannia
17. Queen on Lawn at Balmoral
18. Queen overlooking Balmoral
19. Royal Family Christmas Group
20. Royal Wave

Patrick Lichfield

Patrick Lichfield’s career in photography spanned forty years, and he was particularly known for his informal portraits of celebrities, film stars and members of the royal Family.
His first photographs of The Queen were taken during a cricket match, while he was a schoolboy at Harrow: he also enjoyed photographing his family and pets at home on the Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire.
His career officially began with his engagement as a photographer’s assistant, earning just £3 a week. His photographs of the royal family helped build his reputation however, and he was soon in demand.
In 1981 Lichfield was appointed official photographer at the wedding of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. He was awarded Fellowships of both the British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Royal Photographic Society. He also published several books on photography. Patrick Lichfield died from a stroke in 2005, at the age of 66.

Royals: then and now
Royals: then and now at Beningbrough features work by internationally renowned artists and photographers including Andy Warhol, John Wonnacott, Chris Levine and Mario Testino and introduces contemporary art to Beningbrough for the first time. The display marks the 300th anniversary of the accession of George I, the first monarch of the House of Hanover by hanging portraits of today’s royal family in the context of their ancestors. Bringing together portraits of royal sitters from George I to Prince George of Cambridge, the display invites questions about change and continuity in royal representation.

The royal theme extends throughout Beningbrough with themed tours around the garden and below stairs, talks in the hall plus special catering and retail ranges. There is also a family trail staring Clarence the corgi.

Royals: then and now continues until 2 November, 2014.

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens has been a northern home for a substantial collection of the National Portrait Gallery’s eighteenth-century portraits since 1979. It opens daily (except Mondays) from 1 March – 2 November. Plus open extra on Bank Holidays and Mondays in July and August. For more information, tel: 01904 472027 or visit