Harry and Meghan photographer shocked at racist image in Surrey shop

Harry and Meghan photographer Misan Harriman slams Surrey shop over racist plantation image showing ‘broken black men’ – after football star says he was told THREE years ago it would be taken down

  • Harriman filmed himself walking up to the tills in Farrants, Cobham, sharing the short clip with his 57,700 followers on Twitter
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One of the fashion industry’s top photographers – who’s a family friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – has revealed his shock at seeing a racist photo of a tobacco plantation being used to sell cigars in a Surrey high street shop. 

British Nigerian photographer Misan Harriman, 46, who is also Chair of London’s Southbank Centre, captured Lilibet’s first birthday at Frogmore for Meghan and Harry, shared footage of his visit to Farrants store in Cobham this week – saying he was stunned to see the large black-and-white photo showing ‘broken black men and their overseers’ that hangs behind the shop’s tills.  

Emblazoned with the words ‘We sell tobacco’, the heritage image shows white colonialists alongside black workers on a plantation. Customers visiting the popular Cobham store, which sells sweets, toys and magazines alongside tobacco products, face the photo at the point of sale.

After filming inside the store, Harriman, 46, spoke directly to the camera outside it, expressing his fury that a shop in 2023 could use an image of oppression to promote its products, calling it ‘triggering’ and ‘damaging to many people’. 

British Nigerian photographer Misan Harriman, who photographed Meghan and Harry’s wedding, filmed the racist image of a colonial tobacco plantation that hangs behind the tills at Farrants, a convenience store in Cobham, Surrey 

The video has been viewed more than 2 million times.  

On Twitter, England assistant football coach Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink responded to Harriman’s post, claiming he’d been previously told by the shop’s owner, David Worsfold, in 2020 that the image would be removed after he had complained about it. 

In a caption accompanying the video, Harriman wrote: ‘There is a MASSIVE picture that is pride of place at the point of payment. 

‘It is an image of black men, broken black men at a tobacco plantation with their overseers next to them?!?! I kid you not! This is in a family store, this imagery is massive triggering and racist. And there is no conceivable reason it should be there! 

‘I’m so thankful I wasn’t with my girls. How on earth could anyone have shopped there and found that image acceptable. This is exhausting and damaging to many people.’ 

Misan Harriman filmed himself outside the shop’s exterior, saying: ‘This shop, in the middle of a Surrey high street thinks it’s normal to have that type of imagery’

The image hangs directly at the point of sale in the popular Surrey shop 

The exterior of the shop, which has served customers in the Surrey village of Cobham since 1896, according to its website

England football coach Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink responded to Harriman, saying he’d asked the shop’s owner in 2020 to take down the image

Former Chelsea star Floyd Hasselbaink, pictured in Surrey ahead of training for the Gamne4Ukraine charity football match, urged the shop to ‘follow through on your word’

Former Chelsea footballer and Dutch international Floyd-Hasselbaink responded on his Instagram account, saying: ‘Stories come and go. This needs some attention @farrants_cobham, I think it’s time you followed through on your word from 2020 and replaced this image.’

A representative for Farrants, which has traded on Cobham’s high street since 1896, told MailOnline the store wouldn’t be making a comment on the photograph. 

In September 2020, Harriman, who has two daughters with Camilla Holmstroem, became the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover in its then-105-year history.

The activist-themed cover featured England footballer Marcus Rashford and model Adwoa Aboah, with Mr Harriman working with a predominantly black team on set.

A year before, the Duchess of Sussex guest edited the September issue, which is traditionally the magazine’s most important of the year.

Photography is Harriman’s second career, after previously working in finance but he’s proved prolific since getting behind the lens. 

Harriman’s photo of Lilibet, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter when she turned one at Frogmore Cottage in 2022. He was also the man behind Meghan and Harry’s February 2021 pregnancy announcement photos, which he took remotely via iPad from London

He also shot the 2021 pregnancy shoot for the Duke and Duchess. At the time, Harriman told British Vogue: ‘Meg reminded me that had I not introduced her to a mutual friend then she wouldn’t have met Harry. I’m grateful for whatever small part I played’

The father-of-two (seen with his wife and their older daughter) has only been working as a photographer since 2016, having previously had a career in finance

He’s photographed everyone from Demi Lovato and Ed Harris to Elton’s husband David Furnish. Elton and David are longtime friends of Harry and Meghan. 

The photographer told British Vogue at the couple’s second pregnancy announcement shoot that the Duchess of Sussex had thanked him for helping her find love with Prince Harry, saying: ‘Meg reminded me that had I not introduced her to a mutual friend then she wouldn’t have met Harry. I’m grateful for whatever small part I played’ 

He was a wedding guest at their nuptials in 2018, and Harriman captured a birthday portrait of the couple’s one-year-old daughter Lilibet’s birthday celebrations last year. 

The Southbank Chair released a series of three images taken at a ‘casual, intimate backyard picnic’ hosted by the Sussexes at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor on June 4th 2022, having been invited to attend the small gathering as one of just a handful of select guests, alongside his wife and their two daughters. 

Harriman won worldwide acclaim in September 2020 when he became the first black male photographer to shoot a cover of British Vogue (pictured)

Harriman attended Lilibet’s party with his wife, Camilla Holmstroem, and their two daughters (seen with Meghan and Lilibet), and actually played a ‘small part’ in bringing the Sussexes together, he revealed in 2021

Among the images shared by Harriman, was a ‘candid, spontaneous’ shot of Lilibet, which Harry and Meghan chose to share with the world to mark their daughter’s milestone birthday. 

As well as the sweet snap of the birthday girl, the Nigerian-born photographer also shared two other images from the party, including a black-and-white photo of proud mother Meghan holding her daughter in her arms while posing alongside Harriman’s wife Camilla and their two daughters. 

He is the same trusted family friend who took the black-and-white images that the couple used to announce the news that they were pregnant with a second child back in February 2021.

Harriman also had a hand in helping another member of the royal family announce some special news back in 2019, when Princess Beatrice enlisted him to take an engagement portrait of her and her now-husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, which they released to the world when they announced their betrothal. 

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