I suppose I can’t let this week go by without writing a little bit about the Wedding.
l wish them both well and a long happy life together. Prince Harry’s has not been easy till now and he deserves some happiness and peace. And I wish the media bandwagon would stop and disappear….but it won’t. We live in an a world so needy and greedy for gossip and news about the lives of others, that it’s now an addiction, which will not stop. So this is a little bit about my memories of Royal Weddings past, mainly those that took place when I was a kid.
As I have told you before my mother ….professional name Evelyn Wood….was an artist who worked for the major Thompson newspaper group. Her job title was fashion artist…. this in the days before fashion photography and in any case, Royal outfits were a closely guarded secret until the “reveal” day. And the Royal person wearing the outfit was hardly likely to “model” it before the Day it was seen. So…one of the better aspects of the drawing was the addition of a reasonable, recognizable “sketch” of the Royal wearing it. Mother was good at that. I remember Mum traipsing up to the Palace or the Fashion House, wherever the dress was hidden to do her work. I understand from my mother, that sometimes the artists were not allowed to see and draw the outfit before the event and they were given hints and had to use their imagination. This was true of Princess Diana’s dress.
I still have some of my Mother’s original sketches …..I know she didn’t see Princess Diana’s dress until after, but she imagined it pretty well…the artists were ‘drip fed’ hints and they had to work from those. In all honesty I thought that that particular dress was awful…like an over puffed meringue and did its beautiful wearer no justice. I hope that Meghan Markle is strong minded enough to stand up to her designer and come up with something that really works for her. I suspect that will be the case.
Finding the balance today between the “over the top, look at me” clothing worn by current celebrities and being graceful, individual and tasteful is a real challenge.
I remember those early Wedding days as fun and enchanting, unspoiled by the bitchiness and gossip and unpleasant people coming “out of the woodwork” to jump on the bandwagon, for money and their two minutes of fame. The “suits” at the Palace were pretty good at controlling that sort of thing. Now their “power” is a double edged sword: damned if they do. ….”I have the right to freedom of speech” and damned if they don’t ….as witness to all the wannabees opening their big, unpleasant mouths on this occasion. Anything to get their names in the newspaper. Plenty of that going on now and I do feel very sorry for the pressure piling on to the Bride …even if she has been in show business and somewhat used to the publicity.
I have met many of the Royal Family and have spent some informal time with them. I was taken on a “date” with Princess Margaret and her husband The Earl of Snowden to see a movie, with dinner at Kensington Palace after, by the great actor and pal at the time: Peter Sellers. I worked with the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, on a Television Drama for ITV…we produced it together….enjoyed every minute, charming man and have met a couple of the others at various gatherings. All friendly, intelligent and interesting people….more about all that later.
So Happiness and Joy to Harry and Meghan…wishing the Day goes well for you both and your sense of humour does not desert you!
I appreciate your Royal Wedding insights, and especially enjoy seeing your mother’s sketches of those dresses ! i agree with your comment on Princess Diana’s wedding dress…it was a catastrophe – far too much fabric, too much DRAMA in that whole outfit, as though her life didn’t have enough already, poor girl. She had no idea what she was getting into – in her life nor in her wedding dress – that thing wore her rather than the bride wearing the dress of her dreams.
Meghan is a pretty strong personality so I doubt she will be bullied into anything, wedding related or any other way….good for her. Here’s to a long and very happy life together for Prince Harry and his Meghan.
Sorry it’s taken so,long to respond Melissa…I think the Wedding was a triumph of a beautiful ceremony and really well managed PR. Tricky these days. Think the Bride will be a happy addition to the family!