Entertainment & Arts

Mario Testino awarded honorary OBE

Mario Testino with his honorary OBE
Mario Testino was awarded an honorary OBE as he is originally from Peru

Mario Testino, who has photographed stars such as Kate Moss and Lady Gaga as well as several members of the royal family, has been awarded an honorary OBE by culture minister Ed Vaizey.

The world-famous photographer, who is from Peru, was honoured for his services to photography and charity.

Testino's relaxed portraits of Princess Diana appeared in Vanity Fair just months before she died in August 1997.

He also took the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official engagement photos.

"I arrived in London from Peru in 1976 and it was here that I found my profession and a world of opportunities that I could never have imagined," said Testino.

"I am humbled by this honour and it means a great deal to receive it from the country that has trained me for the life I lead today and that has showed me the way to give back to others."

Testino has shot advertising campaigns for clients such as Burberry and his pictures of stars including David Beckham, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence have regularly graced the covers of magazines.

Supermodel Moss also chose him to take her wedding photographs when she married Jamie Hince in July 2011.

"Mario Testino is responsible for some of the most iconic photographs in fashion over recent decades from Kate Moss to Madonna, and the late Diana Princess of Wales to Michelle Obama, and it's easy to see why he has become such a respected favourite of editors and subjects alike," said Mr Vaizey.

The photographer is famed for his fashion shoots

"But he has also made his mark through his extensive charitable work, raising huge funds particularly in the fight against Aids, and this honour is richly deserved, marking both his artistic and philanthropic endeavours."

Testino has supported many charities, including the Elton John Aids Foundation, Sargent Cancer Care, amfAR and Women to Women.

A Save the Children campaign to raise money for victims of the 2007 Peru earthquake managed to fund a clinic in El Salvador from the sale of a single print of one of his famous Princess Diana portraits.

Testino's 2002 Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery featured pictures of Princess Diana and Madonna
He took two official engagement photos for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The photographer (third from the right) has regularly graced the front row of fashion shows - flanked by celebrities such as Kanye West, Sienna Miller and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

During his career he has put on several successful exhibitions, including Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in 2002, which featured over 100 works and received huge numbers of visitors.

In 2012, Testino also founded his first not-for-profit organisation in Lima, called MATE. It will promote and celebrate the arts in his home country, as well as acting as a platform for Peruvian artists, and will also hold a permanent exhibition of his work.

The photographer was considered for an OBE, but could only receive an honorary award because he is not from the UK or a Commonwealth country of which the Queen is head of state.

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