A dress fit for a princess

Berkshire Life - - CELEBRITY INTERVIEW -

HRH Princess Beatrice of York’s wed­ding dress, first worn by HM The Queen in the 1960s, is now on dis­play at Wind­sor Cas­tle.

Cre­ated by Bri­tish fash­ion de­signer Sir Nor­man Hart­nell, the dress was loaned to Princess Beatrice by The Queen for her wed­ding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on 17 July this year. It is made of ivory peau de soie taffeta and the skirt is trimmed with a band of ivory duchesse satin. The dress is an ex­am­ple of Hart­nell’s sig­na­ture crino­line sil­hou­ette and love of em­bel­lish­ment, as seen in the geo­met­ric hand em­broi­dery in crys­tals and dia­man­tés over the bodice, waist and hips.

Sir Nor­man’s orig­i­nal design was al­tered for Princess Beatrice un­der the di­rec­tion of An­gela Kelly, per­sonal ad­vi­sor, dresser and cu­ra­tor to The Queen, and the Bri­tish fash­ion de­signer, Ste­wart Parvin. The full-skirted sil­hou­ette was soft­ened to give a more con­tem­po­rary shape, and the un­der­skirt and pet­ti­coats were recre­ated and bound with silk tulle. Short sleeves of triple or­ganza were added to the straps and em­broi­dered with vin­tage dia­man­tés to match the orig­i­nal em­broi­dery design.

Sir Nor­man first be­came cou­turier to the Queen Mother in 1937 and then to her daugh­ter, who awarded him a Royal War­rant in 1957. He de­signed many of the out­fits worn by The Queen for state events, tours and fam­ily oc­ca­sions through­out the first half of her reign, in­clud­ing her wed­ding dress in 1947 and coro­na­tion dress in 1953. He was knighted by The Queen in 1977 and con­tin­ued to work for Her Majesty un­til his death in 1979.

The Queen first wore the taffeta gown for a dinner at the Bri­tish Em­bassy in Rome dur­ing a state visit in 1961. She wore it again to the Lon­don pre­miere of Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 and for the State Open­ing of Par­lia­ment in 1966.

The dis­play at Wind­sor

Cas­tle will also fea­ture Princess Beatrice’s wed­ding shoes, made by Valentino and pre­vi­ously worn by Beatrice at the wed­ding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge in 2011. A replica of her bridal bou­quet, made from ar­ti­fi­cial flow­ers, has been cre­ated for the dis­play. The orig­i­nal was de­signed by Patrice Van Helden, co-owner of RVH Flo­ral Design.

The dis­play is at Wind­sor Cas­tle from 24 Septem­ber to 22 Novem­ber. Tick­ets must be booked in ad­vance from rct.uk

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