Skip to comments.'We were the Queen's Coronation Spice Girls!'
Posted on 01/22/2012 11:35:45 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
It was a photograph that captured the youth, glamour and femininity of what would come to be called the new Elizabethan age.
Britains 27-year-old Queen had been crowned in Westminster Abbey earlier that day, June 2, 1953, and now she poses for photographs in Buckingham Palace. She is wearing the Imperial State Crown and the exquisite Coronation gown designed by Sir Norman Hartnell. The 21ft ermine-trimmed velvet Purple Robe of Estate flows from her shoulders.
She is flanked by her Maids of Honour: six of the countrys most blueblooded young women, all single, beautiful and, like the Queen, wearing gowns by Hartnell.
They have been paired according to height with the two smallest, Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton and Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, closest to the petite Queen.
The picture, taken by official Coronation photographer Cecil Beaton, delighted Her Majesty and became one of the defining images of the day. What it does not reveal, however, is the human hinterland behind the pomp and splendour. It gives no clue to the Maids discomfort: their gowns were rib-crushingly tight.
Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton arranges the Queen's robes Nor does it hint that when they had fulfilled their duty to Queen and country, some would rush off to join the crowds thronging the Mall or, in Lady Annes case, to The Ritz and then on to a nightclub where she partied into the small hours with a group of Arab sheiks.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Flanking the Queen from left as they were then titled: Lady Moyra Hamilton, Lady Anne coke, Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton, Lady Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby and Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill
There are more pictures at the link, plus interviews of 5 of the 6 Maids of Honor. This is a memoire of a piece of history that will delight any Anglophile, or even any "republican".
Full title: 'We were the Queen's Coronation Spice Girls!': A disastrous perm, fainting fits and nightclubbing with Arab sheiks
Maggie: I don’t know if you do English royals and their fashions, or just Michelle Obama. But, here is an article that might interest you.
GUILTY, NOT GUILTY, GUILTY, NOT GUILTY, NOT GUILTY, NOT GUILTY, NOT GUILTY!
“Soul-searching and self-doubt is such a modern thing, as is casual dressing.” — Lady Rosemary Muir, 82
I loved reading what these ladies had to say. Thank you for posting this.
The last one said:
Back then you couldnt be seen in London without nylons, white gloves and a hat.
When I was a girl growing up in the 1950s, starting at about 8, we went to church with our white gloves and hats on. Casual dress in church was unheard of. This continued until I was about 16, I think.
Even after that, we girls would not go into Baltimore in casual clothes while I was in high school. Heels, stockings — dressed to the nines. Oh, how times have changed....
The photographer forgot to say “Look at the birdie!”
Even when I was a child of 9 and made my first trip to San Francisco from the "valley", my mother made sure that I had a hat, gloves, and a long, wool coat to wear. We didn't dress like that at home, but SF demanded it.
I forgot to mention stockings. The stockings must have seams in them, and the seams must be staight!
Oh, we did not dress up at home either — only for church and to go downtown. My mother would not have thought of going out anywhere — grocery shopping, hairdresser, etc. — without being dressed up, although the hat and gloves were not included.
When I was playing outside, as a child, I could not be dressed up as I was constantly climbing trees and running around, IOW, I was a tomboy. But, when it was time to get gussied up for church, I was all for it.
The slovenly ways of dress today match the widespread sloppy behavior, IMO.
LOL very good!