Lady Elizabeth Shakerley

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Lady Elizabeth Shakerley

Lady Elizabeth Anson 2018.jpg
Lady Elizabeth in 2018
Elizabeth Georgiana Anson

(1941-06-07)7 June 1941
Died1 November 2020(2020-11-01) (aged 79)
London, United Kingdom
(m. 1972; div. 2009)
ChildrenFiona Burrows

Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Shakerley,[a] CVO (née Anson; 7 June 1941 – 1 November 2020) was a British party planner and socialite from the Anson family. She was a first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II and sister of Patrick Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield.

Early life[edit]

Anson, back row second from right, as a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus van Amsberg in Amsterdam, 10 March 1966.

The Hon. Elizabeth Georgiana Anson was born on 7 June 1941 at Windsor Castle to Thomas Anson, Viscount Anson (1913–1958), and his wife, Anne Bowes-Lyon, the future Princess Anne of Denmark.[2] Anson's mother was a niece of Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother). King George VI was her godfather.[3] She was the niece of Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon.

She was educated at Downhall School, Hertfordshire. In 1960, her paternal grandfather, the 4th Earl of Lichfield, died and her brother, Patrick, inherited the title and family seat, Shugborough Hall near Great Haywood, Staffordshire. Despite the estate's passing to the National Trust in lieu of death duties, Lord Lichfield maintained an apartment for himself and his sister.

Her parents divorced in 1948. Subsequently, her mother married Prince George Valdemar of Denmark and moved to Paris. Her father died in 1958 before acceding to the Earldom of Lichfield. On 12 July 1961, Queen Elizabeth II issued a Royal Warrant of Precedence granting Anson the title, rank, place, pre-eminence and precedence of the daughter of an Earl as if her father had succeeded.[1] Thus, she became known as Lady Elizabeth Anson.

In 1966, Lady Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus van Amsberg.


Following the stress of planning her own debutante ball in 1959, Lady Elizabeth founded the firm Party Planners in 1960.[4] From then on she planned parties for her cousin, the Queen.[5] Notable events she planned are: Sting's wedding, Margaret Thatcher's 70th birthday party, the Queen's 80th and 90th birthday parties, the wedding of Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, and Marie-Chantal Miller and a reception for foreign royal guests the night before the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. In 2000, she planned three consecutive events for the Royal Family; Prince William's 18th birthday on 21 June, Princess Anne’s 50th birthday on 15 August and Princess Margaret’s 70th birthday on 21 August.[6][3] In 1993, she notably organised a 50th birthday party for Ivana Trump's then fiancé, Riccardo Mazzucelli, but later sued Trump for not receiving £6,500 of a £36,500 dinner bill. The courts eventually ruled in favour of Trump.[7]

As the step-daughter of a Danish prince, Lady Elizabeth also attended many royal events in continental Europe, including the 80th birthday celebrations in Oslo of the King and Queen of Norway,[8] and the funeral of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. In 2018, Lady Elizabeth attended a state banquet given by the Queen in honour of the King and Queen of the Netherlands at Buckingham Palace.[9]

Marriage and family[edit]

On 27 July 1972, Anson married Sir Geoffrey Shakerley, 6th Bt, at Westminster Abbey. Guests at the wedding included; the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. Princess Anne and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones were among her bridesmaids. Lady Elizabeth and Shakerley separated in 1986 and divorced in 2009.[3] They had one daughter and two grandchildren:[10]

  • Fiona Elizabeth Fenella Shakerley (born 18 August 1973);[5][4] she married in 2004, Edward Brocas Burrows. They have two children:
    • Noah Burrows (born 1 March 2006)
    • Ruby Burrows (born 2 November 2008)


Lady Elizabeth suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.[7] She died of emphysema in hospital in London on 1 November 2020 at the age of 79.[3][11][12] A memorial service was held on 23 June 2022 at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. The Countess of Wessex represented the Queen and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar attended. Dame Joanna Lumley paid tribute.[13][14]




  1. ^ Per Royal Warrant of Precedence of 12 July 1961, Lady Elizabeth was allowed to use the courtesy title as if she were the daughter of an Earl.[1]


  1. ^ a b "No. 42418". The London Gazette. 21 July 1961. p. 5402.
  2. ^ "Lady Elizabeth Anson: Life is an endless dish of canapes". The Independent. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lady Elizabeth Shakerley obituary". The Times. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Shipley, Diane. "The Queen in mourning as close relative dies". Hello!. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Lady Elizabeth Anson: The Queen's party planner". Tatler. Condé Nast. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ Green, Penelope (23 November 2020). "Lady Elizabeth Anson, Party Planner to the Royals, Dies at 79". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Lady Elizabeth Shakerley, party-planner to royalty and the international jet set – obituary". The Telegraph. 2 November 2020.
  8. ^ "The Royal Family celebrate the King and Queen of Norway's 80th birthdays". Swedish Royal Court. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Court Circular - 23rd October, 2018". The Times. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  10. ^ Firth Powell, Helena. "This Lady knows how to do a party". The National. The National. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  11. ^ Cope, Rebecca. "The Queen's cousin and chief party planner, Lady Elizabeth Shakerley, has died aged 79". Tatler. Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Die Queen trauert: Ihre Cousine ist tot". Gala (in German). Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Thanksgiving service: Lady Elizabeth Shakerley". The Times. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  14. ^ Davies-Evitt, Dora (24 June 2022). "Members of the Royal Family gather to pay their respects to Her Majesty's cousin". Tatler. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  15. ^ "No. 62973". The London Gazette. 14 April 2020. p. 7474.
  16. ^ "NORWAY-ROYALS-BIRTHDAY". Getty Images.