Father, author and photographer Alex Lubomirski with his two children. (Photo: Emily Ullrich)
As a photographer Alexi Lubomirski’s life is all about capturing beauty. He regularly shoots gorgeous stars like Fergie, Kate Winslet, Kristin Stewart, and Lupita Nyong’o for glossy magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. However, Lubomirski’s book Princely Advice for a Happy Life explores a different side of his life, “Photography is all about the outside,” explains Lubomirski. “But the book is all about inner beauty and being a good person.”
The father of two sons, Sole Luka, 4 ½, and Leone, 1 ½, the idea for Princely Advice came when Lubomirski eldest son’s first birthday approached. “They say you should give a one-year-old a silver cup with his name on it, but all these material objects are fleeting. I wanted to give him something that would last forever.” Instead, Lubomirski went for something bigger and more meaningful, hoping to capture what he treasured from his own family—their wisdom and advice. “I was thinking back to everything I had been taught, from my father, from my grandmother, from my mother, all these life lessons I’ve learned throughout the years,” says Lubomirski.
Those life lessons, aren’t exactly your average family values, however, as Lubomirski happens to be a prince. He is part of the Polish House of Lubomirski dating back five centuries. It was a fact that his mother disclosed when he turned 11. The only downside was that there were no castles waiting for him, it was simply a title. “I thought it was fascinating and amazing but it had no relevance to my existence,” says Lubomirski. “I couldn’t figure out how to marry the two worlds and asked my mother what the point of the title was.” Her answer was that he had to be a prince in his heart and actions which resonated with him. “I finally started to understand how to carry this title in a more modern way. I used to think a prince was about fairy tales, but it’s also about being a chivalrous leader, courageous, romantic, kind, spiritual, and generous.”
Prince and photographer Alexi Lubomirski with Kate Winslet. (Photo: Alex Lubomirski)
When Lubomirski wrote the book, it took him only three days, time spent jotting down all the best nuggets he had learned in life. It was meant to be a book that would sit on his son’s bedside table, however friends encouraged him to get the inspiring words out into the world. The tips are almost a guide for becoming a thoughtful, generous, and kind person who just happens to be a bit of a Renaissance man. He advises to always help others achieve their goals, to know which battles to fight (being right is not always best for the situation), and the importance of being humble. “It’s not as much on how to be a prince, as it is essentially on how to be a good human being,” Lubomirski explains.
With the prince hook, the book could be all about manners, etiquette,and fancy ideas, but it’s much deeper than that. While the points are short and sweet, he also talks about spirituality something Lubomirski felt strongly about including. “I think that to be a well-rounded good human being you need to have a strong sense of spirituality. Life is a big complex puzzle and that is a big part of it.”
Alex Lubomirski’s book “Princely Advice for a Happy Life.” (Photo: Alex Lubomirski)
Lubomirski also believes in the importance of love and the concept of old fashioned chivalry. He advises his sons to arrive early to not ever keep a woman waiting, take care of the bill, hold doors, and to love with all your heart. “I’m an old school romantic,” he explains. In fact, Lubomirski writes his wife Giada a poem every month, accompanied by a pearl and a rose. The pearls will be strung together as a necklace for a daughter or granddaughter. Talk about romantic. Seeing all this love and kindness towards women has stuck with his son who is always saying ‘Ladies first” and loves to hold the door.
Although the book is his gift, Lubomirski says he doesn’t need to read it to his boys. Instead he leads by example, thinking often of what values he wants to show them: “It is what I teach them every day.”
All of Alexi’s proceeds from the book are donated to the international charity, Concern Worldwide A humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries.