Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Harry the Fierce

Prince Harry is joining an expedition walking from Longyearbyen, on the island of Spitsbergen in Norway to the North Pole. The 200 mile trek leaves March 29thand Prince Harry will be with the team until April 5th. The Prince is patron of Walking with the Wounded and this expedition has a purpose beyond mere endurance: "The goal of this challenge is to successfully reach the North Pole with four wounded soldiers, of which two are amputees. They will become the first amputees to reach the North Pole unsupported. This achievement will perfectly illustrate just how remarkable these young men and women are."

Good luck and God's speed to all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tea with the Queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had tea today with 30 young finalists who competed earlier this year in Blue Peter's official Diamond Jubilee emblem design contest. 

Story Image

The top contenders in each age group out of 35,000 entrants from among viewers of Blue Peter, the world’s longest running children’s television show, were entertained to an afternoon of tea, cakes and chat with the monarch at Buckingham Palace.

Among them was 10-year-old Katherine Dewar from Chester, who submitted the winning design, an eye-catching creation featuring a crown poised above the Union flag with coluThe mns of diamonds down either side. In a break with tradition, it will be the first time an official royal Jubilee emblem has not been made by professionals. Katherine’s masterpiece will be seen on television screens across the country and will adorn a variety of merchandise, including celebratory tea cups.

The schoolgirl said she was “very excited but a bit nervous” to meet the Queen and happy with the design, which took her an hour to complete. The Queen described it as “splendid”.

Read more here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Loving Cup

After a brief hiatus, Buck's is back with an item about a limited edition Royal Wedding Loving Cup. The elegant design commissioned by The Royal Collection is contemporary in style and consists of doves, white ribbons, and hearts in silver, gold and grey, with a pale grey striped background.  In the centre is a monogram in gold and silver of the intertwined initials of William and Catherine surmounted by the coronet of Prince William of Wales. Also included within the design are two silver doves with a gold wedding ring. 

Letters of love: Each cup bears the entwined initials C and W to stand for Prince William and Kate - or Catherine - Middleton

Number one: The pottery in Staffordshire has made 1,000 of the limited edition mugs. The mug pictured here is the first of the run

Only 1,000 of this official souvenir will be made and will cost £125Read more about the Royal Wedding Loving Cup here.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The dress that launched a royal romance sold at auction for £68,000 over estimate yesterday, surprising many including designer, Charlotte Todd who may be using the proceeds to buy a house.

Mystery bidder

Astonishing amount of money: People in Kerry Taylor's auction house look back towards the mystery bidder

For more results from the Passion for Fashion auction, read here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wedding Souvenirs New High (Just Don't Tell the Dorgis)

Thanks to fellow blogger Thomas Moore Sr, the inimitable Anglophile, I found this incredible book, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding, by Fiona Goble.

Knit Your own Royal Wedding

It's been several years since I knit toys for my children but this is so cute, charming, and quirky not only have I ordered the book I may even knit the whole thing - or at least one of the corgis! Adorable! My favorite Royal Wedding souvenir - without question.

EitheLinnet, Monty, Willow or Holly, one of The Queen's current corgis*

Knitted nuptials: Archbishop Rowan Williams marries William and Kate, watched by the Queen, Prince Philip, Camilla, Prince Charles and Prince Harry
From left: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William, Miss Catherine Middleton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams

*With respect to Vulcan, Candy, and Cider, The Queen's current dorgis. 

Message of Condolence

From the official website of The British Monarchy:

The following message was sent by The Queen to the Emperor of Japan:

I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake which has struck North East Japan today. Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to Your Majesty and the people of Japan. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the dreadful disaster.

Elizabeth R

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Prince Philip in London, 2007

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Save the Date

"Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall will tie the knot at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh on 30 July, with the reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse afterwards."

Canongate Kirk

Palace of Holyrood House

It remains to be seen whether or not the groom-to-be takes his future mother-in-law's advice to get his nose sorted.

Regardless, Zara and Mike owe thanks to another young couple, Cherith Harrison and Gregg Walter, who were supposed to be exchanging vows in the church that same Saturday but who agreed to change their date when they were contacted by the minister, Rev Neil Gardner on behalf of the palace.

Ms. Harrison and Mr. Walter have moved their wedding to Greyfriars Kirk, not on the Royal Mile, but still a  lovely location famous for, among other things, a story of  legendary devotion.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wedding Route Maps

The Royal Parks has launched an interactive map of the Royal Wedding procession route on its web site. Very clever and user friendly, not always the case with others I've found searching online. Here's a small sample:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Like the second season of the series, Downton Abbey.

Even one of the stars, the wonderful Hugh Bonneville, says that reading the new script is "like unwrapping a Christmas present."

I can't wait.

Breaking News

Duchess of York admits 'gigantic error of judgment'

[Insert story here.]


If only you were, my dear.

Just in case, you can read more about the latest debacle here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Passion for Fashion

While speculation intensifies about who will be designing The Dress - Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen? - there's another frock making news in London. This one was created by designer Charlotte Todd, originally as a skirt, until one of the models in a charity fashion show decided she's wear it as a dress, ultimately turning the head of fellow student, Prince William, squarely in her direction.

Charlotte Todd's dress (lot 293) will be part of  auctioneer Kerry Taylor's next sale, Passion for Fashion and Fine Textiles - It's a Right Royal Affair! curated in conjunction with Sotheby's

"The knitted mesh slip-dress worn by Kate Middleton at the St Andrew's University charity fashion show, designed by Charlotte Todd, 2002, the central ground of gossamer-fine gold and black knitted silk, the peacock blue hem slotted through with a ribbon, the upper elasticated border in shades of blue wool, waistband/upper band 71cm, 28in; together with a photograph of Kate Middleton wearing the dress, (2) Charlotte Todd was studying a degree in fashion/textile design at the University of the West of England in 2000 working on a project appropriately entitled `The Art of Seduction' when she produced this piece. It took around a week to make and was intended as a skirt rather than a dress. In 2002 she was invited by the organisers to submit a garment for the annual St Andrew's University charity fashion show. This piece was selected for Kate Middleton to wear and it was decided that it should be worn as a dress rather than a skirt - and the rest as they say is history! Charlotte Todd says of the piece, If it is true that my design helped change the Prince's interest in Kate from platonic to romantic as has been reported, then I am pleased to have played a part - however minor. I never would have imagined as I sat knitting this piece that one day it would be so important."

The estimate for Lot 293 is £8000 to £10,000 - not bad for a dress that cost about £30 to make.

There sale also includes two gowns that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales:

"The Royal theme continues with two important and unique gowns worn by HRH the Princess of Wales lots 290 and 291: *Lot 290: The Catherine Walker formal white lace evening gown worn by HRH the Princess of Wales for a state visit to France, November, 1988, estimate £40,000-60,000. *Lot 291: The Zandra Rhodes pink chiffon dinner gown worn by HRH the Princess of Wales for her Official State visit to Japan, 1986, estimate £30,000-40,000."

While these things are lovely, the real interest in this sale are lots 85 to 119, garments and personal items that once belonged to the Duchess of Windsor.

Part of a collection of personal items belonging to the late Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson

Fit for a queen: The Duchess pictured wearing a scarlet chiffon nightdress, capelet and full-length cape from the late Forties or early Fifties. The outfit is estimated to sell for up to £1,000 at auction

The Duchess holding a brown alligator handbag, circa 1947-50, with gilt ring swivel clasp

The Duchess with a brown alligator handbag, circa 1947-50, with gilt ring swivel clasp

These items from probably the most exquisite wardrobe in the world are being sold later this month in aid of the fund set up by Mohamed al Fayed in memory of his son, Dodi. He bought the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s house in the Bois de Boulogne, and its contents, after Wallis’s death.  The Dodi International Charitable Foundation helps children in need of medical care, and funds treatment for those with psychological and learning difficulties. Kerry Taylor also worked on the 1998 Sotheby’s New York Auction of the contents of the house, which the couple moved to in 1952. Lots 85 to 199 are expected to fetch between 43,000 and £69,000.

Big News about "The Dress"

The Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph are both claiming that Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton is making Kate Middleton's wedding dress.

Sarah Burton

According to the New York Times, after McQueen's death, Burton was: "the only person really qualified for the job. She was a student at Central Saint Martins in London when she began working in 1996 in Mr. McQueen’s studio as part of a work-study program. As she told me in March, “We got on very well and he said, ‘Why don’t you just stay?’ I went back to school for a year and I continued working there at the same time. He completely taught me everything.”
Quietly assured and dedicated to the small details, Ms. Burton remained his first assistant until his death this past February. She was also responsible for translating Mr. McQueen’s runway collections into commercial pieces, translations that have become sharper in recent years. She is not a star [until today], but she is very well known in the fashion world and, most important, has worked closely over the years with the pattern makers and other technical people, especially in Italy, who produce the McQueen line. In promoting the best-qualified person for the job, and not going outside the house for a name designer not intimately connected to the McQueen story, Gucci Group and McQueen executives have a very positive statement about the business."
If this is true - and Sarah Burton's name is everywhere this morning, Ms. Middleton has made a brilliant choice. Perhaps a look at Ms. Burton's first full collection will provide a few clues as to what we can look forward to in April.

alexander mcqueen spring 2011

spring 2011 alexander mcqueen collection

sarah burton gown