Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kate's Dress and Flowers... a look back at a 1953 wedding.

So much speculation going on now that we are coming up on one week until the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Yes, I do realize after next Friday that we will need to refer to her as "Catherine".  But, protocol or not, we still refer to Sarah Ferguson as "Fergie".

Speculation over the dress Kate will wear has grown to a feverish frenzy of ideas from color (ivory or white) to style (large skirt or more fitted) to the decoration (sequins, pearls, and crystals or simply undecorated silk or taffeta), that from all the media, it's getting confusing to put all the ideas together.  Also too, and thankfully many of the networks have put together many documentaries covering the wedding.  In these t.v. specials, often there are retrospectives where the royal wedding gowns of the past are featured.  Seeing these old pictures and sometimes movie footage has given the royal watching novices a great lesson in royal weddings of the past.

Just this week I have seen a royal wedding documentary that featured movie reels from the royal wedding of 1923 when Prince Albert of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother).  It's just a few seconds of movie footage, but you get to see what I believe was her bridal bouquet.  Over the years I have read several accounts of that wedding day... but none of the stories seem to agree on what flowers were included in this royal bouquet.  As the bride left her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior near the west door of the Abbey, the bouquet was not present for the photographs taken back at the palace after the wedding.  However, in this few seconds of film showing Lady Elizabeth leaving her London home and being helped into a carriage for her trip to the Abbey.... you see a woman walking behind her holding her flowing train, and holding a large bouquet of what appears to be white roses and plumosa fern tied with a wide white ribbon.  So, the mystery may have been solved.  Accounts of the bouquet describe it containing white roses, but also some say pink carnations, and some say Heather from the bride's native land of Scotland... all of which I think would have been appropriate.

But back to the dress for Kate.  Most everyone seems to have an idea of what they want Kate's dress to look like.  Above is my favorite for it's regal style and vintage traditional design.  This dress is being worn by Jane McNeil as she weds the Earl of Dalkieth in Edinburgh, Scotland, the year, 1953.
Jane's bouquet, upon closeup examination appears to contain roses, Lily of the Valley, and stephanotis still clustered on their stems.  Of course, in 1953, the construction of the bouquet, I am sure is totally wire and tape.  It's a gorgeous little bouquet that really highlights the floral-in-lace pattern of the gown.  So, as for me, I think this is what Kate should wear next Friday!

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... with all the media/Internet coverage concerning the upcoming royal wedding, it's hard to choose a tid-bit... but, here goes.  Although Kate's brother James isn't officially a part of the royal wedding party, as Prince William will only have Prince Harry as a supporter, James will have some benefit from his sister's "marrying-up".  The Middleton family has been honored with it's own coat of arms.  This newly designed family emblem will be of use to James as well as all his descendants.