A State Banquet: The Balfour Centenary


Amongst the grandeur of Lancaster House, our team were truly honoured to be the official photographers for a once-in-a-lifetime event, a State Banquet to celebrate The Balfour Declaration, hosted by Lord Jacob Rothschild.

This was an evening where the most prestigious guests connected to The Balfour Declaration, to the British Government and the Israeli Government all came together to celebrate a pivotal milestone in Middle Eastern, Jewish, and World history. The original document written by Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild on 2nd November 1917, was on display – on loan from the British Library. Heads of State, Ambassadors, Government Ministers, Lord and Ladies, Chief Rabbis and Archbishops came together for this momentous occasion.

The Balfour Declaration, a sixty-seven word letter described as “the most important letter in modern Jewish history” paved the way for the creation of the modern State of Israel. Here it is…

Our own role included photographing guests in front of the ‘Balfour 100’ branding, capturing the moment guests saw this original document of huge significance, and being sure to photograph the key moment when Lord Roderick Balfour, Lord Jacob Rothschild, Prime Minister Theresa May and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all entered the room together to view The Balfour Declaration. Later in the evening we were privileged to photograph the fascinating keynote speeches from each Prime Minister.

The stunning and historic State Dining Room, which has stood in for Buckingham Palace during the filming of many major feature films, was adorned with understated seasonal flowers by the eccentric genius that is Simon Lycett, whilst guests were served the finest Kosher cuisine by the meticulous team at Tony Page Ltd. who attended to every last detail. A huge vote of thanks go to Natasha and the entire team for the JLC for their dedication in organising such a landmark occasion.

Here are some of our favourite images from a very special evening…