Lady Elizabeth Anson, Party Planner to the Royals, Dies at 79


Elizabeth’s parents divorced when she was 7, and her mother married Prince George of Denmark. Elizabeth was immediately sent to boarding school. She often said that she learned nothing there except good manners.

When she was 15, her father died, and her older brother, Patrick Lichfield, then just 17, inherited the family’s 17th-century estate, Shugborough Hall, in central England. Elizabeth managed it for Patrick.

“I had to grow up very quickly,” she said.

With her mother a distant presence, Lady Elizabeth planned her own debutante party, a scary and overwhelming experience that gave her the inspiration for her business.

In 1972 she married Geoffrey Shakerley, a baronet, at Westminster Abbey. Princess Anne was a bridesmaid. The couple divorced in 2009.

Lady Elizabeth is survived by her daughter, Fiona Burrows; two stepsons, Joth and Nicholas Shakerley; and four grandchildren.

Lady Elizabeth was not immune to personal and financial setbacks. In the early 1990s, an investment in Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, vanished when the company’s losses left her and thousands of wealthy investors liable in the financial crisis.

In 1993, when Ivana Trump, newly divorced from Donald J. Trump, hired Lady Elizabeth to organize a 50th-birthday party for Ms. Trump’s fiancé at the time, Riccardo Mazzucchelli, and then doubled the guest list, Ms. Trump refused to pay the difference. The two spent years in court as Lady Elizabeth fought to recoup the amount, about $9,000. She lost.


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