Mary Anna McCartney was born on August 28, 1969 to Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman McCartney. Mary is a photographer and the first biological child of Paul and Linda. She was named after her grandmother, Mary McCartney.
Mary has an older half-sister named Heather McCartney (born Heather Louise See in 1962 to Linda and Joseph Melville See Jr.), who was adopted by Paul McCartney; a younger sister, Stella (born 1971); and a younger brother, James (born 1977). Mary’s mother, Linda, died from breast cancer in 1998. Mary has a much younger half-sister, Beatrice Milly McCartney, born to her father and his second wife Heather Mills in 2003.
The most famous photograph of Mary McCartney was taken by her mother; it is a photograph of her as a baby, peeking out from inside her father’s jacket. The photograph is featured on the back cover of her father’s first solo album, McCartney, (sometimes known as the “cherries” album).
After the birth of sister Stella, McCartney’s parents formed the classic rock group Wings, with whom she and her siblings travelled the globe until 1980. She grew up to be a vegetarian and is passionate about animal rights like the rest of her family. She has stated that she values friendship and trust, takes pride in her children, and enjoys nature, roller coasters, the fashion of the Roaring Twenties, chocolate and the scent of lavender.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, McCartney became a professional photographer. She was photo editor for the music-book publisher Omnibus Press and in 1992 began taking photographs professionally, specializing in portrait and fashion photography. Because her paternal grandmother and her mother died after long bouts with breast cancer, she began campaigning for breast cancer awareness in the United Kingdom. As a result, she became close friends with Cherie Blair, wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair. This led to McCartney being chosen to take the first official photo of the prime minister and his wife with their fourth child, Leo, born 20 May 2000. Before this, the most well-known photos of hers were the last photographs taken of her mother, three weeks before her death. McCartney has taken portraits of Sam Taylor-Wood, Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, and of her sister Stella, who is a fashion designer.
Her first public photography exhibition was titled Off Pointe: A Photographic Study of The Royal Ballet After Hours. It includes offstage pictures of members of The Royal Ballet as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe, and was meant to showcase the difference between their gruelling and often painful everyday lives and their storybook performances.
In 2001, McCartney produced the television documentary Wingspan, a story of her father’s post-Beatles musical career, focusing on her parents’ band Wings. She also interviews her father in the film. In 2005 she was employed by former Spice Girl Melanie C to be the official photographer for her album Beautiful Intentions. Melanie C then asked Mary to direct the video for her single “Better Alone.”
McCartney now runs the picture department at her father’s company, MPL Communications.
In 1995, Mary McCartney’s younger brother James introduced her to director and television producer Alistair Donald. After dating for three years, they set a wedding date for May 1998. Upon the death of her mother, the wedding was delayed and McCartney and Donald were married on 26 September 1998. On 3 April 1999, McCartney gave birth to Paul McCartney’s first grandchild, Arthur Alistair Donald, making Paul the second Beatle grandfather (the first was Ringo Starr). The Donalds’ second son, Elliot Donald, was born on 1 August 2002.
In April 2005, the couple announced their separation. In 2007, Mary dropped the surname Donald and returned to using her birth name professionally. On 11 August 2008, Mary gave birth to Sam Aboud, her first child with Simon Aboud.