Our June 17th Auction Is a Royal Knockout!
It’s interesting to note how this style of dressing Royal children has changed little over the decades, as illustrated by a recent photograph of Princess Charlotte wearing a similar, traditional, floral dress with contrasting Peter Pan collar.
Lot 17, a Georgian silver gilt snuff box, reminds us of the love affair that triggered the Abdication Crisis, which led to the shy Duke of York and his family being thrust into the public eye when he was crowned King in his brother’s stead in 1936. The silver box was given as a Christmas present to Herman and Katherine Rogers (lifelong Canadian friends who helped Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson arrange their wedding in France the following year) and is engraved ‘from Wallis and Edward, Christmas 1948’ (see image at top of page).
Lot 21 is a blue and white damask silk ensemble, specially commissioned from the Emanuels (who shot to fame after making her wedding dress in 1981), for the Royal Tour of the Gulf States, where she accompanied Prince Charles, in November 1986.
Lot 22, a Catherine Walker printed peach silk polka dot coat dress, 1988, was obviously a favourite piece – easy to wear, being both comfortable and smart. Again, by changing jewellery, or adding a hat, this versatile dress could be worn for both formal or semi-formal occasions. The Princess was photographed wearing it on four public occasions:
– 13th June 1988, to attend the Order of the Garter ceremony with Prince Charles, accessorised with a peach sailor bonnet with rear bow and upturned brim and single strand pearl choker
– 12th July 1988, to welcome President Evren of Turkey on a State Visit, with Prince Charles, accessorised with a peach sailor bonnet and double strand pearl choker
– 12th July 1989, on a visit to The Freeman Hospital, and Percy Hedley School in Newcastle Upon Tyne, accessorised with a simple white clutch bag and court shoes
– 15th May 1991, for an International Spinal Research Charity event at the Langham Hilton Hotel, London, with peach leather shoes.
The late Karl Lagerfeld admitted to a reporter in 1984 that it was his dream to dress Princess Diana. He drew two sketches of his ideas, showing more clinging, figure-revealing clothes (lots 18 and 19). He lamented in his inimitable way the fact he could not make her clothes…
‘The Princess is so chic, and she has such beautiful bones. I would like to see her dress less romantically, in tighter clothes, to look more aggressive. But, sadly, she must wear British clothes’.
Finally in our Royalty section are some outfits worn by the Duchess of York (affectionately known as ‘Fergie’) for ‘It’s a Royal Knockout’ in 1987. The teams were led by an enthusiastic and gung-ho Fergie (blue), her husband Prince Andrew (green), Prince Edward (yellow), and a highly reluctant and stoic Princess Anne (red). The teammates were an impressive who’s who of celebrities of the day, including: John Travolta, Meatloaf, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Christopher Reeve, Gary Lineker, Toyah Willcox and Jenny Agutter. The event raised over £1 million for charity, with Princess Anne’s team winning in aid of Save the Children. Fergie’s team, representing International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, came last.
The auction takes place on Monday 17th June 2019 at 2pm.