Vanity Fair’s Portraits of Royalty


The photographer, Mario Testino, had been asked for a portrait, little suspecting that this famously enigmatic creature was ready to let down her hair. On the day of the shoot, in a studio in South London, he just started talking, about this and that, nothing too personal. Mario has a marvelous voice—very warm, very satisfying, like one of those macerated cherries you get at the bottom of a good Manhattan. He just kept it light. He put on some music—Dalida, a French dance diva who was gyrating toward self-destruction before the Princess-to-be had graduated from ruffles. The energy started to percolate. She got into it, laughing and tossing her head back and throwing off the most incredibly languid looks. Not long after lunch, she wanted to learn to catwalk. Imagine, the most celebrated woman of our time—glamorous princess, champion fund-raiser, benefactor to the poor, mother of England’s future King—learning to strut like a runway queen!

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August 20, 2021 | 7:26 pm