Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The QE II Wedding Gown

Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, has a 13 ft train and is embroidered with crystals and pearls. Due to post-war restrictions (married in '47) the pearls were not available in England; instead, a whopping twenty thousand seed pearls were imported from America.

The Queen Mother specifically asked that Hartnell should use an unusually rich, lustrous stiff satin which was made at Lullington Castle. The satin was ideal for the train, but Hartnell thought that the dress required a more supple material of a similar tone. He ordered the similar fabric from the Scottish firm of Winterthur near Dunfermline. Wait for it--this is the best part--complaints arose about a rumour that the Scottish satin was made from 'enemy silk worms', either from Italy or possibly Japan. A telephone call to Dunfermline settled the scandal. Mr. Hartnell was assured the silkworms were from Nationalist China and were not 'enemy silkworms'. Ha! Isn't that awesome?

Oh yeah-- don't forget the picture of the cake. Whoa.


shelly said...

Wow -- what a fun post! Love it.

Rachel EM said...

I'm glad somebody did! I'm always afraid to post stuff cause I think nobody will be interested. I'm VERY glad you enjoyed it, Shelly.