Baroness Betty Boothroyd

This is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of photographing the former speaker of the House of Commons, and she was as much of a maverick as I remembered from the previous encounter. This time our location was her ‘office’, the House of Lords. We had only permission to shoot on the terrace which was where we met and where we took a few frames until Betty decided to ignore the pleas of the pr team and lead me around the building, taking me to places she thought would make a nice backdrop. Deciding it was better not to argue with her and to plead ignorance of our whereabouts, the media team left us to it and what ensued was a remarkable tour of London’s parliamentary building. There was no respite, it was frantic and completely on the hoof- I had to set up a light and get the editor of the magazine to carry it and hold it for me whilst we followed her around. At one point I was actually jogging after her down a corridor, such is the enviable speed and energy (she’s almost 90!). Then as quickly as we started, Betty cut it off. We were done and I was left to watch as she dashed off to her next appointment leaving me in awe of such a remarkable and sparkling presence.

©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/ ©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/ ©Louise Haywood-Schiefer/