December 8, 2016

{The Crown}

I've just finished watching Season One of "The Crown"—Netflix’ wonderfully royal, big-budget series chronicling the life of Princess, then Queen, Elizabeth. Created and written by the extraordinary Peter Morgan—who knows his way around clever royal dialogue and hidden emotions—the production designs are rich, the acting is superb and the costumes—by the marvelous Michele Clapton (of Game of Thrones fame!)—are beautiful!

One of the famous gowns the costume designer recreates for the first episode of “The Crown” is Princess Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding gown by couturier Norman Hartnell. I write about it in my book The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding….here’s one book excerpt I thought youd enjoy:

Although a wet and dreary November day, Princess Elizabeth’s wedding in 1947 was a shining break from the austerity of the grim post-war years. Her ivory silk satin gown was glamorous, opulent and symbolic. The silkworms used to make the silks both in Scotland and England were brought from Nationalist China instead of “enemy silkworms” from Japan or Italy. Designer Norman Hartnell was said to have been inspired by Primavera, Botticelli’s fifteenth-century painting; he had the gown and long silk tulle court train intricately hand embroidered with thousands of tiny crystals and seed pearls in garland designs of jasmine, smilax, lilac, and York rose blossoms. Since Great Britain was still in recovery from World War II, and since even the future queen needed ration coupons for her wedding gown’s fabric, women from all over the country sent their coupons for their much-loved Princess to use. They were politely, and with messages of deep gratitude, returned by the Palace.

(Order your own copy of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride and read more about glorious royal wedding gowns!)

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