The Sun’s legendary royal photographer Arthur Edwards becomes fellow of prestigious Royal Photographic Society

THE Sun’s legendary royal photographer Arthur Edwards really is a jolly good Fellow.

And that became official yesterday when he was admitted into the prestigious Royal Photographic Society’s coveted fellowship — its highest award possible.

In 125 years, just 700 photographers — including David Bailey, Terry O’Neill and Princess Margaret — have had the honour.

Arthur, 81, who has been photographing the Royal Family for The Sun since 1977, received the honour during a surprise ceremony at the Imperial War Museum in London.

He thought he was there to meet a holocaust survivor whose family he had photographed for an exhibition at the museum, which also includes a picture taken by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Instead, a stunned Arthur was given the top honour for “distinctive ability and excellence” over more than four decades of photographing The Queen and her family.

Justin Cohen, who nominated Arthur for the tribute, said: “I would guess he has been to more royal engagements than anyone apart from The Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

“Arthur has travelled on well over 200 royal tours abroad in a staggering 44 years on The Sun.

“He’s met Nelson Mandela, Pope Benedict and Mother Teresa, as well as a catalogue of Prime Ministers and Presidents.

"He is one of the country’s best-known photographers and the longest-serving royal photographer on Fleet Street and he is referred to by Prince Charles himself simply as ‘Arthur’.”

Justin, co-publisher of the Jewish News, came up with the idea for the exhibition of 50 Holocaust survivors having their pictures taken by members of the Royal Photographic Society.


Arthur managed to persuade Kate to take one of the portraits too.

Her picture of survivor Steven Frank hangs near Arthur’s of Zigi Shipper, 91.

Arthur said: “When I saw Catherine’s picture of Frank I told her, ‘You’ve done a really good job’.

“It’s not easy because you are photographing someone who has been through hell and survived a terror that you could never possibly imagine at such a young age.”

During World War Two, Zigi, who Arthur photographed, was sent to Auschwitz aged 14 and then to three other Nazi concentration camps before surviving a death march.

After liberation, Zigi, from Lodz, Poland, ended up in hospital for three months due to the effects of overeating after severe malnutrition.

Once he left hospital he and his friends were sent to a Displaced Persons’ Camp.

It was a shock but an absolute honour to be given this incredible award

Zigi arrived in the UK in 1947 and set up home in Bushey, Herts, where he married and brought up a family.

Arthur was asked to photograph Zigi during Covid restrictions earlier this year.

He wanted to be pictured with all 19 of his relatives, including his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Zigi said: “Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews, one and a half million of them were children.

“I wanted Arthur’s picture of all my family as a way of telling Hitler, ‘Look what we survivors created’.”

Arthur said: “I was fortunate because Zigi is such a kind man who genuinely wanted to forget about the horrors of the past because he had built a great life in Britain.

“His love of our country makes me realise how lucky we are to live here, where we take all our freedoms for granted.”

Due to Covid restrictions, Arthur could only photograph them in groups of six.

Granddaughter Holly, 24, who was living in Spain, could not travel to the UK.


But our brilliant graphic designers at The Sun were able to add her into the portrait.

Arthur explains: “Holly sent me a portrait of herself and we put her head on a body.

“Even the Royal Photographic Society couldn’t spot the one person in the line-up who was actually in Spain.

“I have since spoken to her mother, who said she loved everything about the picture except the shoes we had given her, because she never wears high heels."

Clutching his Royal Photographic Society Fellow’s scroll, Arthur had to leave the event early for his latest royal assignment, to photograph Princess Anne and Sophie Wessex at the Chelsea Flower Show.

He said: “It was a shock but an absolute honour to be given this incredible award.”

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