Surprise Surprise another one of Diana’s dresses has found it’s way to ebay.
Princess Diana’s ivory chiffon cocktail dress, worn to a Birthright benefit held at the London Palladium in May of 1987. Custom-made by the British designer, Zandra Rhodes, gown was from Rhodes’ 1985 autumn/winter collection entitled ”India Revisited.” Ivory-colored long-sleeve gown is designed in a ”button & bows” pattern, with zig-zag bands to the hem on white silk chiffon, laid over its white silk jersey lining. Pleated bodice is studded with pearl beads and sequins, and waistband is made of quilted white satin over the draped skirt. Entire gown has pink crystals and pearl beads stitched to hemlines and edges, and finally, small pearl quatrefoils are applied to the rear closure all by hand. Incredibly intricate and ornate gown has a 36” bust x 26” waist. With provenance from Christie’s. Near fine condition.
Prince Harry and Jinny Blom show Queen Elizabeth II the Sentebale Forget-Me-Not garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this evening.
Dressed in a lilac coat, The Queen was accompanied by various members of the Royal family, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice as she toured the grounds.
The Queen, who is the patron of show organisers the Royal Horticultural Society, visits the Chelsea Flower Show on the day before it opens every year.
One of this year’s 15 show gardens is in aid of Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, and is known as the Forget-me-not garden.
The Prince’s charity helps impoverished and vulnerable orphans in the African country Lesotho, and Harry, who founded the charity after spending part of his gap year in 2004 in the country, has been closely involved in the creation of the garden. Last Friday he surprised Chelsea staff by making an unexpected visit to see how the garden was progressing.
The designer of the Sentebale garden, Jinny Blom, claimed recently that the garden was not only intended to reflect the landscape of Lesotho, but to symbolise the Prince’s experience of losing his mother, Diana Princess of Wales.
She told The Radio Times that a pattern of “heart and crowns” engraved on a circular terrace in the garden was in part a memorial to the princess.
“One thing that’s important in life is shelter and a home. Harry is someone who has lost those parental arms that we all need round us. He knows all about it, of course, that kids deserve to be loved and picked up,” she added.
The Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public on Tuesday, and is expecting over 150,000 visitors before it closes on Saturday.
Prince Harry and his father the Prince of Wales
Prince Harry paid a surprise visit to see his charity Sentebale’s garden being set up at the Chelsea Flower Show.
The prince, wearing a yellow high-visibility jacket, spent several minutes chatting to designer Jinny Blom as he was shown around the B&Q Sentebale garden on Friday (May 17).
The unannounced visit was on the day after he arrived back from his tour of the United States.
The world-famous annual garden show opens to the public on Tuesday and will be visited by the Queen the day before.
Harry also had a look around the M&G Centenary Garden celebrating 100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show.
The casually-dressed prince, wearing a baseball cap and jeans, seemed to take an interest in the plants he was shown in both gardens.
A St James’s Palace said: “It was an unannounced private visit.”
Ms Blom, a renowned landscape gardener who was commissioned to create the garden to raise awareness of Sentebale, was kissed by Harry at the end of his visit.
She said she did not know he would be attending today until she saw him approaching the garden.
Ms Blom said: “I don’t think even he knew he was going to be here today – he just decided to come on the spur of the moment.
“It’s nice for him to be able to see the garden before Monday because I didn’t know if he was going to get the chance.
“He was very, very pleased with it and likes it very much. He’s such a nice guy. The great thing about today was that he was able to meet everyone who’s been building it for the past month.
“He was asking about the poppies, which haven’t come out yet. He said ‘What does it take to get these to open?’ – and I said we needed some sun!”
She said Harry had been heavily involved in the garden – even when he was serving in Afghanistan recently.
“We sent all the drawings over to him when he was in Afghanistan,” she said. “He is passionately involved, which is great for all of us. The whole thing has been brilliant.”
The Forget-Me-Not garden, a contemporary interpretation of the South African country of Lesotho, was “a year’s hard work”, said Ms Blom.
Its purpose is to “put Lesotho on the map” and educate people about how Sentebale helps its vulnerable children, suffering from extreme poverty and HIV/Aids.
“It is one of the world’s poorest countries but it is absolutely beautiful,” said Ms Blom.
“But trying to interpret a country of mountains and flowers has been a challenge.”
The word Sentebale means forget-me-not and also represents the loss of Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and the late mother of Prince Seeiso of Lesotho.
Ms Blom said the presence of the flower in the garden reflects that and acts as a memorial to both women.
A pattern based on the idea of hearts and crowns, cut into a floating stone in the middle of the garden, symbolises the Prince and his loss, as well as the children in Lesotho who have lost their own parents, she said.
The stone is surrounded by forget-me-nots and baby’s tears, a mossy plant.
Ms Blom praised both princes, saying: “They are using their royal positions to do their duty of protecting the people of Lesotho and that’s the message we’re trying to put across.”
According to the Chelsea Flower Show guide, the garden evokes mountains, tree houses and the designs of blankets that are Lesotho’s national costume.
A Royal Horticultural Society spokeswoman said they had not been aware the Prince was going to visit today and that he had wanted to see for himself how the garden’s construction was progressing.
Designer Roger Platts, who created the M&G garden which is next to the Sentebale garden, said he was called over by RHS shows director Stephen Bennett as he came back from a morning snack.
He said: “It wasn’t until I saw him that I realised it was Prince Harry.
“I was introduced to him and he asked what it was like working alongside Sentebale – I said we like seeing their willow trees from our garden, and he said he liked seeing our summer house’s thatched roof from their garden.
“He was very interested in the wild flower area, and in our kissing gate, asking where we had found it.
“I told him I had had it for a while and been looking for a way to use it.
“He also wanted to know how many varieties of plants we have – and I said I don’t actually know yet.
“He was certainly drawn to the wild flowers. The visit was so unexpected. It was marvellous. Harry was really relaxed and so easy to talk to.”
The garden was commissioned by show sponsors M&G and its design draws influence from 100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show.
Harry specifically asked to see the Trailfinders Australian garden and spent time chatting to volunteers who have flown in from Down Under to help in its creation.
Wes Fleming of Fleming’s Nurseries in Victoria, Australia, said the prince had joked that a rope swing should be installed over a water hole at the heart of the garden – and said he would have jumped off it if there had been one.
He said: “I think it’s part of Harry’s nature to be a bit playful.
“He was in a delightful mood. He’s a lovely young man and has that sparkle in his eye – or what my wife described as a cheeky grin.”
Celebration of the coronation of King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
In celebration of the upcoming coronation of the new King & Queen of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander & Maxima, here is an article from the Spanish edition of “Vanity Fair”.
**for Prince Harry fans**
Sketches of maternity wear created for Diana, Princess of Wales, are to go on display, showing how she personalised designs to stamp her own style on her pregnancy wardrobe.
Now, a new exhibition featuring designs for her maternity wear will include sketches tweaked by Princess Diana, demonstrating how she closely collaborated with designers on her wardrobe.
They include the “fairy princess” dress she wore shortly before announcing her first pregnancy, and several glamorous outfits on to which she stamped her personal style.
The designs will feature in a retrospective of the fashion house Bellville Sassoon, founded in the 1950s by Belinda Bellville, the socialite, and David Sassoon, the designer who worked closely with Princess Diana from her engagement to the Prince of Wales in 1981, through to the 1990s.
Sketches from Sassoon’s personal archive will go on display at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum, including the design for the hand-painted, off-the-shoulder white and blue chiffon dress that Princess Diana wore to an opening at the V&A Museum in November 1981, while two months pregnant with the Duke of Cambridge.
A floral day dress (The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon by David Sassoon and Sinty Stemp/Empics)
Sassoon, 80, said: “We called it the fairy princess dress because we received so many letters about it, especially from children, who thought that was what a fairytale princess should look like. Diana loved this dress – it appealed to her sense of romance.”
During Princess Diana’s pregnancy, Sassoon sent sketches to Kensington Palace, on to which she scribbled her ideas to be incorporated into the designs before fittings.
One sketch of a turquoise, bouclé maternity dress features her notes: “Please could I have this one without the high collar and bow?”
Sassoon said: “She had a very clear idea of what she did and didn’t like and she’d look at sketches and make notes asking if we could put a sleeve or a neckline from one design on to another dress.”
Another sketch for a claret taffeta dress with bows, shows her enthusiasm to have the dress made up, with the words “Yes please!” next to the design which she wore to the opening of the Barbican Centre with the Queen in March 1982, when she was six months pregnant.
The claret dress the Princess wore to the Barbican opening (The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon by David Sassoon and Sinty Stemp/Getty)
“We had to let it out at the very last minute because her bump had suddenly grown,” said Sassoon. “She was very excited about the baby but also conscious of looking appropriate for the occasion during her pregnancy.”
He added: “Diana didn’t like coats. I used to ask ‘are you going to be warm enough wearing that?’ and she’d say, ‘don’t worry, I’ll wear my thermals underneath’. She was a great one for thermals.”
Also on display will be the design for a velvet maternity dress with a lace collar including her notes: “This one in dark blue please.” Sassoon made the dress in 1982 using lace which had belonged to Queen Victoria.
The original sketch for the white chiffon empire-line dress which the Princess wore to a West End production of The Little Foxes, starring Elizabeth Taylor, will also be exhibited.
A maternity gown she wore while expecting Prince Harry (The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon by David Sassoon and Sinty Stemp/Tim Graham)
Sassoon said: “Diana enjoyed fashion and getting a reaction from her outfits. In fittings, she’d say ‘this will get them going – this will get a response’.
“Everyone thought she was fussy about clothes but she wasn’t. Many other members of the Royal family would ask for hundreds of changes in fittings and ruin the whole outfit, but not Diana.”
With the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge undertaking her first official engagement of the year this week, royal maternity wear is likely to be under the spotlight once again.
The Princess chats to David Sassoon (Getty)
The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon will open in September, featuring designs spanning more than 50 years from the fashion house whose clients include the late Audrey Hepburn, Helen Mirren and Jerry Hall.
Sassoon also designed for the late Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal and Princess Michael of Kent, whose wedding dress will go on display.
* The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon at the Fashion and Textile Museum, September 20 to January 11, 2014, www.ftmlondon.org
I am very pleased to announce that Ancestors of a Princess will now be regularly Updated. This section has been sadly neglected due to my new work Schedule at the Library So I enlisted to help of a wonderful person who loves Diana and who knows her royal history. Tina Serafini will be posting some fabulous pieces pertaining to Diana and her ancestors through out history.Her first post can be found here http://dianaslegacy.com/aop/?p=119 . Please leave your comments at the bottom of her post. Welcome Tina to the Diana’s Legacy Team.
Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, has announced he will close the museum he set up to exhibit Diana’s dresses and treasures at their ancestral home, Althorp. Lord Spencer, who vowed to protect Diana’s memory during her funeral, will hand over its contents to his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry. Lord Spencer says Diana’s will stated that her belongings were to be “looked after” by him until both of her sons turned 30, at which point the contents would transfer into their possession. Prince Harry will be 30 next year. “It will close worldwide in August 2014,” confirms a spokesman for Charles Spencer, who took the show,” Diana: A Celebration,” on tour to America.
The collection includes 28 of Diana’s dresses, two tiaras and other priceless family jewels as well as pictures, letters and home movies. No definitive plans have been made yet but there a possibility that Diana’s clothes and other belongings will go on display at Kensington Palace, were she lived until her death.