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David Steen recalls: “Macmillan was Prime Minister at the time and I went to photograph him one Sunday, at church in the morning and then at Birch Grove his country home. He was the perfect gentleman and offered to show me the house – which was certainly helpful. I stood in his bedroom overawed at being there, in the Prime Minister’s bedroom. There were his slippers, two telephones (one red which he told me was his hotline to President Kennedy) and a small bottle of Lucozade on the side. Pointing to a door, he said, ‘Dorothy’s room is over there.’ (The fact of his wife’s enduring affair with another man eventually became common knowledge, but not the stuff of gossip columns). This is the picture of a lonely man. It was only when the film was processed that I saw the knees of his trousers were patched.
Location: England
Year: 1963
Biography: Half American by birth, Macmillan was born in London in 1894 and educated at Eton and Oxford University. Serving in the First World War, he was injured three times and worked for the family publishing company for a time once hostilities ended. He entered parliament as a left-of-centre Conservative in 1924, pressing for social reform. In 1942 he was appointed Resident Minister at Head Quarters in the Mediterranean where he became friends with General Eisenhower. When the Conservatives won the general election of 1951, Macmillan became Minister for Housing and oversaw the building of a million new homes. Over the coming years he was also Minister for Defence, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer until 1955 when Prime Minister Anthony Eden resigned following his handling of the Suez crisis and the Queen invited Macmillan to form a government. During the economically prosperous years that followed, he was able to proclaim, ‘Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good.’ Yet shortly afterwards, inflation, flagging support for the Conservative government and ill health contributed to his resignation in 1963. He became Chancellor of Oxford University and returned to parliament in 1984 as a hereditary peer, where he was very vocal in his opposition to Margaret Thatcher’s policies of privatisation. Macmillan died in 1986.
Print Type: Fibre-based Harman Galerie FB Digital
Printed by: Metro Imaging, London
Limited Editions: All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order, stamped and numbered
Presentation: Prints are supplied to clients flat in an acid-free box or rolled in a tube
Watermark: Watermarks will not be present on an original print
Tags: harold macmillan, british, english, prime minister, london, 1960s, 60s, the sixties, black and white, bedroom
Copyright: © David Steen / The David Steen Archive