Sir Cecil Beaton – portrait of the week

Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace, Sir Cecil Beaton, 1939. Photo: Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Today marks the birthday of Sir Cecil Beaton, whose wonderfully glamorous photographs always evoke for me the heady, brittle glamour of mid twentieth century high society – from film stars to writers to shy debutantes to their sophisticated mothers, he captured them all for posterity. It was quite difficult to pick just one Beaton photograph as portrait of the week but in the end I went with this wonderfully frothy and romantic picture of Queen Elizabeth, dolled up in all her finery in […]

Portrait of the week – Betty Lindley

Betty Lindley, Bassano Studio, 1914, National Portrait Gallery. Crappy camera phone photo: Melanie Clegg I bought this print from the National Portrait Gallery a few weeks ago and it’s been living on the dresser in my dining room ever since. Isn’t she ace? Apparently the photograph is of an actress called Betty Lindley, but I don’t actually know anything more about her than this, which is fine as I think the image speaks volumes about the sort of lady she was. In other words she was clearly my sort of gal. Betty Lindley, Bassano Studio, 1914, National Portrait Gallery. Crappy […]

Before and after…

Photo: Fotolia. I’m really REALLY pleased with how my new book covers have turned out and although I was a bit resistant to following the current trend for photo cover art, I’m glad that I took the plunge. I’ve had a lot of questions about the covers and how I did them and thought that showing you all the original stock photo and the final finished result would help some of you and also provide a bit of amusement. The picture above is listed on Fotolia (which is EXCELLENT by the way) as ‘Art portrait of a beautiful female model […]

Queen Alexandra’s photography

I love that Queen Alexandra was a keen photographer. She looks pleased as punch in this 1889 snapshot of her holding her precious No. 1 Kodak camera, doesn’t she? Unusually, she actually exhibited her work in public in the Kodak exhibitions of 1902 and 1906 and in 1908, she worked with the Daily Telegraph to produce a book called Queen Alexandra’s Christmas Gift Book: Photographs from my camera, the proceeds from which were given to charities. A photograph by Princess Alexandra, showing her son, Prince George and three grandchildren, Prince Albert, Prince Edward and Princess Mary during Cowes Week, 1899. […]

Princess Diana by Mario Testino, 1997

Photo: Mario Testino. How beautiful are these stunning photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales by Mario Testino? I defy anyone (okay, almost everyone, I try not to think about the fact that there’s a tough crowd out there) not to look at these images and think ‘Oh, wow, she really WAS a beauty.’ Photo: Mario Testino. Photo: Mario Testino. This set of photographs was taken in an old school in Battersea in 1997, just five months before the princess’ tragic death. They were destined to act as publicity for the upcoming sale of some of Diana’s dresses at Christies but […]