C&TA member Jacquie Harvey BEM writes:
Still being cautious about going out has given me extra time to sit and sew. This year, as you will know, we will be celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, with a long weekend of celebrations planned for June. Thought you might like to see what I have made as a mark of respect.
I was 8 when the Queen was crowned, and we were lucky enough to have a TV, which allowed us to see the Coronation service. It was a very cold day and even then, I wondered if the Queen was keeping warm, particularly in the drive from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. What a WOW moment it was when she got out of that glorious Golden coach. I immediately fell in love with Sir Norman Hartnell’s dress, the moment I saw it and was lucky enough to see it on display, in London, not long afterwards.
70 years has been such an achievement for our Queen, although she has had a few problems along the way, especially in losing Price Philip last year. I felt I wanted to pay my respects to her in making this miniature dress (just 20 ins high), to celebrate such an auspicious occasion. As you may know, the Queen insisted that an emblem from every country in the Commonwealth be included on her dress. Unfortunately, I didn’t have room on mine, so have therefore limited the design to just four from the UK. However, there is a hint of New Zealand fern, on behalf of our daughter- in- law, whose family live there. I used silk sateen fabric and thousands of beads and sequins. The quilting was done by hand and the floral design painted in. Looking carefully at the original it was obvious to me that the background was quilted, and I am not surprised. That must have given a lot of support to the weight of the many precious gems and pearls, sewn on. Apparently, the Queen loved the dress and wore it several times more on her journey around the Commonwealth, shortly after the Coronation had taken place.
Very best wishes
Let us know about your coronation/platinum jubilee celebrations.
Caroline Whiting is a trustee of C&TA, an art historian and guide at Norwich's Norman Cathedral who is passionate about textiles as an art form, from medieval to modern.