Patrick Demarchelier, Princess Diana's personal photographer, dead at 78

Patrick Demarchelier, Princess Diana’s personal photographer, dead at 78

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The fashion industry is mourning the loss of French photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who snapped iconic spreads of A-list stars over his decades-long career, including Princess Diana.

Demarchelier was 78. His death was announced Friday on his verified Instagram account.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Patrick Demarchelier on March 31st 2022, at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife Mia, his three sons Gustaf, Arthur, Victor and three grandchildren,” the statement read.

The Fahey/Klein Gallery, who represented Demarchelier’s fine art sales and exhibition of his photographs, said they are “very saddened” by his passing in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“Pure beauty dominates in his work. He demystified the fashion world and created images that resonate with a natural beauty. His photographs were both historically durable with a contemporary edge. He had a reverence for tradition, but also a taste for new,” the gallery said.

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Patrick Demarchelier and Anna wintour attend the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018.
(Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

It continued: “In a world of images by others, he stood apart – and was able to create an authentic interpretation while revealing the heart of sensuality. Influenced by the classics of photography and painting, Patrick Demarchelier played with light, lines, and forms of the human body creating photographs that captured an often surprising and spontaneous vitality in even the most powerful icons of beauty and culture. In the end, the strength of his work was the result of his trust and connection with his subjects. He will be missed .”

Demarchelier was born in Le Havre, France. According to reports, he moved to Paris at the age of 20 and began his career under Swiss fashion photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1975, he relocated to New York City, where he quickly became one of the most sought-after fashion photographers. His work appeared on the covers of American Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Allure and more.

He also shot campaigns for well-known brands, including Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Lancôme, Celine, Yves Saint Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren.

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The famous photographer died at the age of 78.

The famous photographer died at the age of 78.
(Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Dior Homme)

Demarchelier is perhaps best known for becoming Princess Diana’s personal photographer in 1989. He made history as the first non-British photographer to be hired by the British royal family.

He photographed the late princess for the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and was also behind the lens for some of her more memorable photographs, including a black-and-white photo of the princess wearing a white gown and a tiara.

He called Diana a friend in an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper in 2008.

Patrick Demarchelier's Princess Diana goes on view as part of Sotheby's Made In Britain sale at Sotheby's on March 15, 2019 in London, England.

Patrick Demarchelier’s Princess Diana goes on view as part of Sotheby’s Made In Britain sale at Sotheby’s on March 15, 2019 in London, England.
(Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)

“She was funny and kind — but fundamentally she was a very simple woman who liked very simple things,” he said.

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Christy Turlington, Patrick Demarchelier and Linda Evangelista in Paris, France in the 1990s.

Christy Turlington, Patrick Demarchelier and Linda Evangelista in Paris, France in the 1990s.
(Foc Kan/WireImage)

He also photographed for some of the biggest names in the entertainment and modeling industries, including Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bündchen, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Kate Winslet, Oprah, Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Sophia Loren, Linda Evangelista, Anthony Hopkins, Annette Bening, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Charlize Theron, Sally Field, Nicki Minaj, and many more.

Celebrities reacted to the news of his on death on Friday with tributes on social media.

“Always loved working with Patrick so much. Very sad to hear of his passing. I am sending so much love to his family,” actress Kate Hudson commented on his Instagram.

“I loved just hanging with Patrick on the many trips we did. I just loved him. He was a creative genius but in a casual seemingly effortless way, and he was fun and funny in his broken Franglais,” wrote Christie Brinkley.

Patrick Demarchelier and Cindy Crawford.

Patrick Demarchelier and Cindy Crawford.
(Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

“When I first shot with Patrick, I was just 16 years old. He was one of the first people in fashion that believed in me. I feel so lucky that I got to work with him so many times through the years and create so many great memories. Patrick you will be missed,” Bündchen wrote in a post on her Instagram account on Friday.

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Photographer Patrick Demarchelier and actress Nicole Kidman attend the Sixth Biennial UNICEF Ball in 2016.

Photographer Patrick Demarchelier and actress Nicole Kidman attend the Sixth Biennial UNICEF Ball in 2016.
(Donato Sardella/Getty Images for US Fund for UNICEF)

Bella Hadid said she is “grateful to have been lucky enough to be in front of your lens,” and described him as “soft, but full of life.”

Crawford thanked Demarchelier “for so many great memories and beautiful, timeless images.”