Though Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex has had her photograph taken countless times since joining The Royal Family, but her most recent photoshoot had special significance. Conducted by 24-year-old James Dunn, who suffers the debilitating skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB), the Countess was the latest public figure to sit for the young photographer in support of the #FightEB appeal.
The Countess of Wessex is royal patron of the charity Debram which provides support to people across the UK who suffer from EB, which causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch. Photographer James, who has lost one of his arms to skin cancer as a side effect of EB, is currently trying to photograph as many celebrities as he can for a campaign to help raise £500,000 to find a cure for EB. He has already snapped portraits of celebrities including actor Danny DeVito, comedian Alan Carr and Marvel Avengers star Tom Holland.
The Countess is the first royal to pose for James and so when he and his parents, Lesley and Kenny, were invited to Buckingham Palace for the photoshoot he was “extremely nervous”. The Countess of Wessex was quick to put him at ease, however and he said afterwards: “I can’t thank the Countess enough for giving me this experience…It’s something I’ll never forget. The awareness generated by taking this photo is really important and I’m hoping it will inspire more people to support Debra and make a real difference to more people suffering from EB.”
The Countess of Wessex said that she was “delighted” to support James’s campaign and his passion for photography. She added: “I’m constantly impressed by the courage of people suffering from EB, an incredibly painful and debilitating condition…For James to face up to what he is going through and still devote time to raising EB awareness shows exceptional fortitude.”
Alongside fellow members of the EB community James has helped to raise more than £250,000 of the £500,000 goal for the #FightEB appeal.