To mark HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, join photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas for a talk about his new book Wildflowers for the Queen: A Visual Celebration of Britain’s Coronation Meadows, linking it specifically to floral emblems and their part in the royal story of the Coronation. Floral emblems have been part of our royal story as far back as the War of the Roses. For the Queen’s Coronation, however, they were central to the inclusion of an essential new and exciting part of the royal story. Hugo will be in conversation with journalist Victoria Summerley.
Hugo Rittson-Thomas is a British portrait photographer famed for his portraits of Her Majesty The Queen and the Dalai Lama. He started his career after studying Fine Art at Central St. Martin’s and Goldsmiths University of London and took part in the landmark exhibition Temple of Diana alongside Tracey Emin at The Blue Gallery in 1999. In 2011, Rittson-Thomas started working on a photographic series entitled Creatives, documenting a number of high-profile individuals. The ongoing project encapsulated London’s creative scene and people working within it, from Ron Arad and Hans-Ulrich Obrist to Kylie Minogue and artists Gilbert and George.
Photographed over a year, Wildflowers for The Queen features 19 meadows (of which 14 are Coronation Meadows) in stunning locations and stately homes including Highgrove, Chatsworth, Blenheim Palace and Highclere Castle. Rittson-Thomas was granted exclusive access by The Queen to Sandringham, whose meadow is a particularly magical example of wildflowers in all their bucolic glory. Rittson-Thomas has previously worked on the following books: Romantics and Classics: Style in the English Country House and Secret Houses of the Cotswolds with text by Jeremy Musson. He photographed Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cornwall for his book The Queen’s People which was published by Assouline in 2016.
Victoria Summerley is a national newspaper journalist who specialises in writing about gardens and gardening. For the past 13 years she has been executive editor of The Independent. In 2010, she was the winner of the prestigious Garden Media Guild Journalist of the Year award, and she also writes an award-winning blog. Her garden in London was open under the National Gardens Scheme and was featured on BBC Gardeners' World. After 50 years of living and gardening in London, Victoria now lives in the Cotswolds, but regularly returns to the capital.
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Image: Sandringham Meadow by Hugo Rittson-Thomas, © Hugo Rittson-Thomas