Lady Elizabeth Anson died on Sunday 1st November 2020, with members of her family at her bedside.
A cousin of the Queen, Lady Elizabeth was born at Windsor Castle to Viscount Anson and Anne Bowes-Lyon, the future Princess Anne of Denmark. Her Godfather was the Queen’s father King George VI. In 1972, aged 31, she married the society photographer Sir Geoffrey Shakerley at Westminster Abbey, with Princess Anne as her bridesmaid, they were divorced in 2009.
Lady Elizabeth, always immaculately dressed, has been planning parties, for the Queen for many years. She requires meticulous attention to detail at her events. Aged 18, Harpers and Queen’s Betty Kenward asked Lady Elizabeth to organise her first Debutante Ball. She founded Party Planners in 1960, and since then she has planned events large and small, grand and simple, from tea parties to dances, charity balls, weddings and State Banquets. Her clients have included members of the British Royal Family, foreign Royal Families, and Heads of State. She organised an event ahead of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, and other notable events included Sting’s wedding, Lady Margaret Thatcher’s 70th birthday party and the Queen’s 80th birthday party. All events were executed with a flair that was her trademark.
Lady Elizabeth has been involved in many charity events, and has regularly fundraised for the Castle of Mey Trust, including an annual Patrons’ Party at the 5-star Goring Hotel in London’s Belgravia, frequently attended by the Queen.
The Queen was not only a cousin, but also a friend, and once a month would have dinner at Lady Elizabeth’s Notting Hill house. Earlier this year the Queen honoured her cousin by awarding her the Commander of The Victorian Order (CVO), an award in the personal gift of the Sovereign.
In the late 1980’s, Lady Elizabeth contracted ME, the debilitating flu-like illness, but she lost none of her drive.
Her brother Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield, who died in 2005, was the renowned Royal photographer.
Lady Elizabeth leaves a daughter, Fiona and two grandchildren.