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Her father George died in 1992, meaning he never got to see her success.
‘He had a heart attack and was rushed off to hospital,’ recalls Alison’s cousin, Tony Felgate. Alison wept for three days and would not move.’ Then, in the late Eighties, Catherine was involved in a riding accident which left her paralysed.
‘There was a hunt and she was late,’ says Mr Felgate.
Alison, 50, became an overnight sensation in the late Nineties thanks to a photograph that apparently showed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed with a mixed-race child.
Alison’s latest book – Kate And Wills Up The Aisle: A Right Royal Fairy Tale – an affectionate satire of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance, is due for publication on April Fool’s Day.
Before the Royal wedding was even announced, she was providing the images the Hello!
Born in Southsea, Hampshire, in 1960, Alison was the second child of multi-millionaire George Jackson and his wife, Catherine, a keen horse rider. ‘I can’t remember exactly how old I was when my parents gave me my first camera but it was a Canon, and I was certainly far too young to have such a good camera,’ she recalls.
‘I shot landscapes mostly and was particularly interested in the play of light on the countryside. In contrast, my mother was very quiet but I noticed that while both would behave quite formally in public, they would behave very differently at home.