Lord Snowdon…extraordinary life..exceptional photography!

Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones is a name that many people, if asked, would admit to not knowing.

By definition, and the propensity of the English aristocracy to imbibe in lengthy, hyphenated names, some people will readily acknowledge that the name belongs to an English person.

So let’s talk a little about him…how did he become such a famous photographer, his loves and his life.

He was born the only son of his father who was a well-to-do barrister with a frenetic social life. His mother had equally wide social tastes and was a wealthy socialite.

His parents unfortunately separated when he was just a baby, his mother remarrying into a titled family, namely the Earl of Rosse, which later led to her becoming the Countess of Rosse.

As fate would have it, Snowdon contracted polio when he was 16 years of age, and during his lengthy recuperation of around 6 months, his mother gave him a camera in order to help ease his confinement.

He emerged from hospital with a severely withered leg but true to form, he struggled triumphantly to overcome the disability, learning to use his camera and finding an immediate love with photography.

His attraction to photography was inevitable, as he hails from a family who were all prone to creativity, his great-grandfather being the lead cartoonist for Punch magazine, with two uncles being noted architects.

As it happened, although his father enrolled him into Cambridge University, one of the world’s most well-known learning centres, he unfortunately failed his exams and later took to photography with a renewed interest.

His work initially covered fashion, design and theatre personalities, but he also covered street and documentary work as well. With his portraits of the Royal household, he became friendly with the Family, which later led to his marriage with Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth.

In the 60s, he landed a very prestigious job, possibly through his connections with the Royals, as picture editor with the esteemed Sunday Times newspaper.

His marriage to Princess Margaret was unique by the fact that he was the first “commoner” (ie Joe Public!) to marry into the Royal Family in almost 50 years. As he was not already a titled member of any English lineage, he was granted, of course by a Royal agreement, the title of Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley, as there were worries within the Royal household that he may father a title-less child with the Princess. Such is Royal life! As it happened, the Snowdon name goes back many years in antiquity, as far back as 1282.

They had 2 children together, a boy and girl. But sadly, due to rumours of infidelity by Princess Margaret with Roddy Llewellyn, Snowdon divorced. Again, it was a precedent….being the first time since 1900 that a member of the Royal Family had separated.

He later remarried his assistant Lucy Mary Davies, which yielded a daughter, but again sadly ended in divorce, this time due to allegations that Snowdon himself was having an affair.

His photographic work however was of extraordinary quality, as can be seen here from a selection of shots.

Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret and family

photos courtesy flickr.com


About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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4 Responses to Lord Snowdon…extraordinary life..exceptional photography!

  1. Certainly a main man. One could easily suggest that much of his success was down to his relationship with Princess Margaret but I think this would be unfair.

  2. phrenzel says:

    fascinating post, thanks for sharing this.

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