Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon
|The Right Honourable|
The Earl of Snowdon
GCVO FRSA RDI
Armstrong-Jones in 1965
|Member of the House of Lords|
16 November 1999 – 31 March 2016
as Baron Armstrong-Jones
6 October 1961 – 11 November 1999
as Earl of Snowdon
Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones|
7 March 1930
Belgravia, London, England
13 January 2017 (aged 86)|
Kensington, London, England
|Resting place||St Baglan's Church, Llanfaglan, Wales|
|Alma mater||Jesus College, Cambridge|
Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, FRSA, GCVO, RDI (7 March 1930 – 13 January 2017), commonly known as Lord Snowdon, was a British photographer and film-maker. His first marriage was to Princess Margaret, younger daughter of King George VI and the sister of Queen Elizabeth II.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education
- 3 Life and career
- 4 Designs and inventions
- 5 Philanthropy and charity
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 8 Issue
- 9 Ancestry
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Publications
- 13 External links
Armstrong-Jones was the only son from the marriage of the barrister Ronald Armstrong-Jones (1899–1966) and his first wife Anne Messel (later Countess of Rosse; 1902–1992). He was born at Eaton Terrace, Belgravia, in London. He was called "Tony" by his close relatives.
Armstrong-Jones's paternal grandfather was Sir Robert Armstrong-Jones, the British psychiatrist and physician. His paternal grandmother, Margaret Armstrong-Jones (née Roberts), was the daughter of Sir Owen Roberts, the Welsh educationalist. A maternal uncle was Oliver Messel (1904–1978) and a maternal great-grandfather was the Punch cartoonist Linley Sambourne (1844–1910), and his great-great-uncle Alfred Messel was a well-known Berlin architect. Additionally, his great-great-grandmother, Frances Linley, was a first cousin of Elizabeth Linley, wife of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
Armstrong-Jones's parents divorced in 1935 when he was five years old. As a schoolboy he contracted polio while on holiday at their country home in Wales. During the six months that he was in Liverpool Royal Infirmary recuperating, his only family visits were from his sister Susan.
Armstrong-Jones attended Eton College, beginning in the Michaelmas term of 1943. In March 1945, he qualified in the "extra special weight" class of the School Boxing Finals. He continued to box in 1946, gaining at least two flattering mentions in the Eton College Chronicle. While on holiday at his father's family estate in North Wales (Plas Dinas), he was stricken with poliomyelitis. In 1947, he was a coxswain in Eton's traditional "Fourth of June" Daylight Procession of Boats.
Life and career
After university, Armstrong-Jones began a career as a photographer in fashion, design and theatre. His stepmother had a friend who knew Baron the photographer; Baron visited Armstrong-Jones in his London flat, which doubled as his work studio. Baron, impressed, agreed to bring on Armstrong-Jones as an apprentice, first on a fee-paying basis but eventually, as his talent and skills became apparent to Baron, as a salaried associate.
Much of his early commissions were theatrical portraits, often with recommendations from his uncle Oliver Messel, and "society" portraits highly favoured in Tatler, which, in addition to buying a lot of his photographs, gave him byline credit for the captions. He later became known for his royal studies, among which were the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for their 1957 tour of Canada. He was also an early contributor to Queen magazine, the magazine founded by his friend Jocelyn Stevens.
In the early 1960s, Armstrong-Jones became the artistic adviser of The Sunday Times Magazine, and by the 1970s had established himself as one of Britain's most respected photographers. Though his work included everything from fashion photography to documentary images of inner city life and the mentally ill, he is best known for his portraits of world notables, many of them published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The Daily Telegraph magazine. His subjects include Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Leslie Caron, Lynn Fontanne, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, Rupert Everett, Anthony Blunt, David Hockney, Princess Grace of Monaco, Diana, Princess of Wales, Barbara Cartland, Raine Spencer (when she was Lady Lewisham), Desmond Guinness, British prime minister Harold Macmillan, Iris Murdoch, Tom Stoppard, Vladimir Nabokov and J. R. R. Tolkien. Over 100 of his photographs are in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
In 1968 he made his first documentary film, Don't Count the Candles, for the US television network CBS, on the subject of ageing. It won seven awards including two Emmys. This was followed by Love of a kind (1969), about the British and animals, Born to be small (1971) about people of restricted growth and Happy being happy (1973).
In October 1981 a group portrait by Snowdon of the British rock band Queen was used on the cover of their Greatest Hits album. In 2000 A Snowdon portrait of Freddie Mercury was used on the cover of his The Solo Collection box set.
In 2000, Armstrong-Jones was given a retrospective exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective, which travelled to the Yale Center for British Art the following year. More than 180 of his photographs were displayed in an exhibition that honoured what the museums called "a rounded career with sharp edges".
Designs and inventions
Armstrong-Jones co-designed (in 1963, with Frank Newby and Cedric Price) the "Snowdon Aviary" of the London Zoo (which opened in 1964); he later said it was one of his proudest creations, affectionately calling it the "birdcage". He also had a major role in designing the physical arrangements for the 1969 investiture of his nephew Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
Philanthropy and charity
During his royal marriage, he was patron of the National Youth Theatre, the Contemporary Art Society for Wales, the Welsh Theatre Company, and the Civic Trust for Wales. He was also President of the British Theatre Museum.
In the 1960s, he served in the capacity of a council member of the Polio Research Fund, as it was known before it was renamed the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases. He served as a trustee of the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases (since renamed Action Medical Research). He was president for England of the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981. He was provost of the Royal College of Art from 1995 to 2003.
In February 1960, Snowdon, then known as Antony Armstrong-Jones, became engaged to the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, and they married on 6 May 1960 at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on television. Despite the public enthusiasm, "some critics disapproved of a commoner marrying into the royal family". The couple made their home in apartments at Kensington Palace. He was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley, of Nymans in the County of Sussex, on 6 October 1961. The couple had two children: David, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, born 3 November 1961, and Lady Sarah, born 1 May 1964.
The marriage began to collapse early and publicly; various causes may have been behind the failure. On her side there was a penchant for late-night partying, while on Snowdon's an undisguised sexual profligacy. ("'If it moves, he'll have it,' was the summing-up of one close friend.") "'[T]o most of the girls who worked in the Pimlico Road studio, there seemed little doubt that Tony was gay'. To which Tony responds: 'I didn't fall in love with boys - but a few men have been in love with me.'" The authorized biography by Anne de Courcy (2008) reveals a series of affairs with women, including a 20-year relationship with his mistress Ann Hills, and that Armstrong-Jones did not deny that he was bisexual.
In his 2009 memoir, Redeeming Features, British interior designer Nicholas Haslam claimed that he had an affair with Snowdon before the latter's marriage to Princess Margaret and that Snowdon had also been the lover of Tom Parr, another leading interior designer.
The couple remained married sixteen years, some less than ideal. "They were both pretty strong-willed and accustomed to having their own way, so there were bound to be collisions," according to de Courcy. His work also consumed a great deal of time. "She expected her husband to be with her more, but one of Tony's strongest motivations was work." The marriage was accompanied by drugs, alcohol and bizarre behaviour by both parties, such as Snowdon's leaving lists between the pages of books the princess read for her to find, of "things I hate about you". According to biographers Sarah Bradford, one note read: "You look like a Jewish manicurist and I hate you". When high society palled, Snowdon would escape to a hideaway cottage with his lovers or on overseas photographic assignments; "[m]ost people, including the Royal Family, took his side." Among Snowdon's lovers in the late 1960s was Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs, daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Reading. In spite of her own affairs, Margaret was said to be particularly upset when hearing about this woman. They separated in 1976, and the marriage ended in divorce in 1978.
In 2004, The Telegraph reported that Snowdon had fathered an illegitimate daughter shortly before marrying Princess Margaret. Anne de Courcy reports the claim by Polly Fry, born on 28 May 1960, in the third week of Lord Snowdon's marriage to Princess Margaret, and brought up as a daughter of Jeremy Fry, inventor and member of the Fry's chocolate family, and his first wife, Camilla, that she was in fact Snowdon's daughter. Polly Fry asserted that a DNA test in 2004 proved Snowdon's paternity. Jeremy Fry rejected her claim, and Snowdon denied having taken a DNA test. However, four years later, he admitted that this account was true.
After his divorce from Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon married Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg (née Davies), the former wife of film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, on 15 December 1978. Armstrong-Jones's youngest daughter is Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones, a designer and board member of the Snowdon Trust. She was born on 17 July 1979 and married Rodolphe von Hofmannsthal in 2006. From 1976 until 1996, Snowdon also had a mistress, journalist Ann Hills. She committed suicide on 31 December 1996.
The couple separated in 2000 after the revelation that Snowdon, then aged 67, had fathered a son, Jasper William Oliver Cable-Alexander (born 30 April 1998), with Melanie Cable-Alexander, an editor at Country Life magazine.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 7 March 1930 – 6 October 1961: Mr Antony Armstrong-Jones
- 6 October 1961 – 13 January 2017: The Right Honourable The Earl of Snowdon
- 16 November 1999 – 13 January 2017: The Right Honourable The Lord Armstrong-Jones
Earldom and life peerage
Following his wedding, Armstrong-Jones was granted an earldom and introduced to the House of Lords as the Earl of Snowdon on 28 February 1962. The awarding of the earldom was in line with the practice of granting titles upon marriage into the Royal Family. Snowdon was appointed Constable of Caernarfon Castle in 1963; as part of this role, he assisted in organising the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969.
He made his maiden speech in the House of Lords in April 1972 on the problems that disabled people suffered in everyday life. One of his last contributions to the Lords was in response to the Queen's Speech of 1992.
On 16 November 1999 Lord Snowdon was created Baron Armstrong-Jones, of Nymans in the County of West Sussex. This was a life peerage given to him so that he could keep his seat in the House of Lords after the hereditary peers had been excluded. An offer of a life peerage was made to all hereditary peers of the first creation (those for whom a peerage was originally created, as opposed to those who inherited a peerage from an ancestor) at that time.
The government of the day had expected Lord Snowdon to follow the example of members of the royal family and turn down his right to a life peerage. At the time, Labour MP Fraser Kemp said he was "shocked and surprised that someone who achieved their position in the House of Lords by virtue of marriage should accept a seat in the reformed Lords".
Awards and honours
- GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, 7 July 1969
- He was awarded the Royal Photographic Society's Progress Medal and an Honorary Fellowship in 1985.
- In 1989, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from the University of Bath.
|Polly Fry||28 May 1960||Barnaby Higson||Augusta Higson|
Phoebe Higson
Minna Higson
Ottilie Higson
Cressida Higson
|David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon||3 November 1961||8 October 1993||Serena Stanhope||Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley|
Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones
|Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones||1 May 1964||14 July 1994||Daniel Chatto||Samuel Chatto|
Arthur Chatto
|Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones||17 July 1979||2 December 2006||Rodolphe von Hofmannsthal||Rex von Hofmannsthal|
Maud von Hofmannsthal
Sybil von Hofmannsthal
|Jasper Cable-Alexander||30 April 1998|
|Ancestors of Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon|
- List of Cambridge University Boat Race crews
- List of Old Etonians born in the 20th century
- List of photographers
- List of University of Cambridge members
- Rayner, Gordon (5 June 2008). "Lord Snowdon: Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- Hutchinson, Roger & Gary Kahn. A Family Affair: The Margaret and Tony Story (Two Continents, 1977)
- Brown, Craig. Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings (Simon and Schuster, 2013) p. 285
- Geld, Ellen Bromfield. View from the Fazenda: A Tale of the Brazilian Heartlands (Ohio University Press, 2003) p. 158
- Marco, Neil. "An Historic Home". infoplasdinas@.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
In 1899 Sir Robert Jones, who subsequently altered his name to Armstrong-Jones, had a son named Ronald. The family was, at that time, living in the London area and retained Plas Dinas as their country home. Sir Ronald Jones married Anne, and the marriage produced a son, Antony, who in 1961 [sic] married HRH Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister.
- "Nobility in Tony's Background". Chicago Tribune 28 April 1960. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
...Margaret was the daughter of Sir Owen Roberts
- "The Sambourne family". Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. p. 13. ISBN 978-0491003810.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. p. 52. ISBN 978-0491003810.
- "Snowdon: the Biography by Anne de Courcy, reviewed by Duncan Fallowell". The Daily Telegraph. 20 June 2008.
- Grice, Elizabeth. "Lord Snowdon: 'Taking photographs is a very nasty thing to do.'". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. p. 60. ISBN 978-0491003810.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. p. 65.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. pp. 73–74.
- Coco, Tatiana. "Lord Snowdon by Helen Cathcart, Chapter 4". Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- Cathcart, Helen (November 1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen/Virgin Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-0491003810.
- "Lord Snowdon dies aged 86". BBC News. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- British Rowing Almanack 1950.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon (Hardback ed.). London: W.H. Allen. p. 82.
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon (Hardback ed.). London: W.H. Allen. p. 84.
- Cathcart, Helen (November 1968). Lord Snowdon (Hardback ed.). London: W.H. Allen/Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0491003810.
- "Obituary: Lord Snowdon". BBC News. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Haden-Guest, Anthony. "The queen is dead". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Sir Jocelyn Stevens (obituary)". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Anthony Blunt". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "The Photography of Antony Armstrong-Jones". Royal Author Tatiana Coco. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- "J. R. R. Tolkien". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- McFadden, Robert D. (13 January 2017). "Antony Armstrong-Jones, Photographer and Earl of Snowdon, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Don't Count the Candles (1968)". bfi.org.uk.
- "Obituary: Lord Snowdon". BBC News. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Lord Snowdon". gettyimages.co.uk.
- "1969 Press Photo Emmy Award Winners Lord Snowdon William McClure" (News photo). United Press International. 9 June 1969. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Love of a Kind". BFI. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Barnham, Glen (17 September 2009). "Sadie Corré obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Robertson, Nan (10 November 1979). "A Life in Pictures: Lord Snowdon's 30 Years as a Photojournalist". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective". Past exhibition archive. National Portrait Gallery. 2000. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective". Yale University. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- "Hood Medal – RPS". rps.org.
- "Progress Medal – RPS". rps.org.
- "BOTTEGA VENETA's Fall campaign, a marketing lesson for luxury brands – CPP-LUXURY". CPP-LUXURY. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Royal, by Robert Lacey, 2002.
- GB patent 1230619, A.C.R. Armstrong-Jones. Earl of Snowdon, "Means for Providing Mobility for Physically Handicapped Persons", issued 5 May 1971
- "Obituary: Earl of Snowdon". The Times.
- "The Snowdon Trust".
- Cathcart, Helen (1968). Lord Snowdon. London: W.H. Allen. p. 70.
- "Lord Snowdon obituary". The Guardian. 13 January 2017.
- Alderson, Andrew (31 May 2008). "Lord Snowdon, his women, and his love child". The Daily Telegraph.
- Caroline Davies (10 February 2002), "A captivating woman...", The Daily Telegraph, UK, retrieved 17 October 2008
- "1960: Margaret weds Armstrong-Jones". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "No. 42481". The London Gazette. 6 October 1961. p. 7199.
- "1976: Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon to split". BBC News. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "Snowdon: the Biography" by Anne de Courcy, reviewed by Duncan Fallowell, The Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2008.
- Cooke, Rachel (21 June 2008). "Talk about a cad and a bounder". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Reginato, James (1 December 2009). "Nicky Haslam". W Magazine.
- Frost, Katie (8 December 2017). "The True Story of Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones's Love Affair". Town & Country. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Bradford, Sarah (1996). Elizabeth. London: William Heinemann.
- Andy Bloxham, Andy (31 May 2008). "Lord Snowdon fathered a secret love child just months before marrying Princess Margaret". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
- Conti, Samantha (21 November 2008). "The Tony Earl". Women's Wear Daily. p. 10.
- "Our board". The Snowdon Trust.
- Bearn, Emily (16 April 2003). "Still playing Peter Pan". The Daily Telegraph.
- Owens, Mitchell (27 July 1999). "Noticed: Blood Tells. So Does Burke's". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "Lord Snowdon dies aged 86". BBC News. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Crump, Eryl (20 January 2017). "Lord Snowdon laid to rest at family service near Caernarfon". dailypost.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "No. 42481". The London Gazette. 6 October 1961. p. 7199.
- "THE EARL OF SNOWDON (Hansard, 28 February 1962)". hansard.millbanksystems.com.
- "The Peerage". Whitaker's Concise Almanack. 2003. pp. 134–169. ISBN 0-7136-6498-3.
- Bagnall, Steve (13 January 2018). "Tributes to 'gentleman' Lord Snowdon". northwales. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- "Mobility of the Physically Disabled (Hansard, 10 April 1974)". hansard.millbanksystems.com.
- "Address in Reply to Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech". UK Parliament. 12 May 1992. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "No. 55672". The London Gazette. 19 November 1999. p. 12349.
- Watt, Nicholas (3 November 1999). "Dismay as Snowdon stays in Lords". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "Earl of Snowdon".
- "Voting Record – The Earl of Snowdon (13657) – The Public Whip". publicwhip.org.uk.
- "House of Lords – Members' Expenses 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2002" (PDF). UK Parliament.
- "House of Lords Publication of Financial Support for Members 1 – 31 March 2016" (PDF). UK Parliament.
- "No. 44888". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 July 1969. p. 6967.
- "Progress Medal". The Royal Photographic Society. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Maclagan, Michael; Louda, Jiří (1999). Line of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe. London: Little, Brown & Co. p. 31. ISBN 1-85605-469-1.
- Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David, eds. (2003). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. London: Debrett's Peerage Limited. p. 1490.
- London. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1958. (A later edition has ISBN 0-297-16763-4.)
- Assignments. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1972. ISBN 0-297-99582-0.
- A View of Venice. [Ivrea]: Olivetti, c1972.
- Personal View. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979. ISBN 0-297-77715-7.
- Snowdon Tasmania Essay. Hobart: Ronald Banks, 1981. ISBN 0-85828-007-8. Text by Trevor Wilson.
- Sittings, 1979–1983. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983. ISBN 0-297-78314-9.
- Israel: A First View. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986. ISBN 0-297-78860-4.
- Stills 1984–1987. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987. ISBN 0-297-79185-0.
- Serendipity: A Light-hearted Look at People, Places and Things. Brighton: Royal Pavilion, Art Gallery & Museums, 1989. ISBN 0-948723-10-6.
- Public Appearances 1987–1991. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991. ISBN 0-297-83122-4.
- Hong Kong: Portraits of Power. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995. ISBN 0-316-22052-3. Text by Evelyn Huang and Lawrence Jeffery.
- Wild Flowers. London: Pavilion, 1995. ISBN 1-85793-783-X.
- Snowdon on Stage: With a Personal View of the British Theatre 1954–1996. London: Pavilion, 1996. ISBN 1-85793-919-0.
- Wild Fruit. London: Bloomsbury, 1997. ISBN 0-7475-3700-3. Text by Penny David.
- London: Sight Unseen. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999. ISBN 0-297-82490-2. Text by Gwyn Headley.
- Photographs by Snowdon: A Retrospective. London: National Portrait Gallery, 2000. ISBN 1-85514-272-4.
- Snowdon. London: Chris Beetles Gallery, 2006. ISBN 1-871136-99-7.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon.|
- Antony Armstrong-Jones, earl of Snowdon at Encyclopædia Britannica
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Snowdon
- Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon on IMDb
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Earl of Snowdon
Member of the House of Lords
|New creation|| Baron Armstrong-Jones
Member of the House of Lords