I’ve been a little absent from blogging lately. Although I love writing and sharing on here sometimes stuff just gets in the way. I’ve been busy with the girls and our project to get the garden done has kept us really busy. While I’ve been away from the blog I’ve been thinking more about regular features for the blog. The Vintage Frills Wishlist is a way for me to bring together everything I blog about including vintage fashion, beauty, books, days out and history. At the moment I’m not going to set a particular day for the post I’m just going to try and fit it in every week.

The idea is to create a list of my favourite things and things I would like to buy, do or read.

Fashion – As I have mentioned loads of times before I am in love with the clothing label Love ur Look. Their range is totally vintage themed but designed for modern women. I love the exaggerated details like huge buttons and big collars which really compliment the vibrant fabric prints. I love this Check Print Collar Dress which is £56.50.

Beauty – I’ve heard great things about Soap and Glory Firminator and with summer on its way and the possibility of wearing shorts this is top of my beauty wishlist. All you do is rub it onto your thighs and bum after having a shower and after a few days you should look more toned. I’m always a little sceptical of firming products but the reviews on this one look good so I’ll definitely be giving this one a try.

Books – I am really excited to get my hands on a copy of Sarah Moore’s new book Vintage Home. I loved her first book and I love her unique vintage style. I already own so many vintage home books but this one can’t be missed and I know it’ll inspire lot’s of little projects around the home.

Days Out – With the weather getting nicer I am looking forward to an outing to my favourite place – Claremont Landscape Garden in Esher, Surrey. I love to take the girls there as it’s the most stunning garden and it’s packed with history being attached to the former home of Princess Charlotte.

Claremont

Home – I love these retro themed storage canisters from Matalan, they remind me of Orla Kiely prints. I’m not sure they would fit with my kitchen but I’d like to use them to store stuff in my utility room. At only £5.00 each you can’t really say no.

A few weeks ago I visited the Charlotte the Forgotten Princess exhibition at The Royal Pavillion in Brighton for the 4th time. As I’ve mentioned lot’s on this blog I’ve always been really interested in Princess Charlotte. She’s one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in British history. The only daughter of George IV had she not died in childbirth aged just 21 she would have gone on to be Queen rather that her uncle William and then her cousin Queen Victoria.

When I last wrote about the exhibition there were two of princess Charlotte’s dresses on display. These have since been replaced by Charlotte’s beautiful wedding dress. The dress is one of the earliest surviving royal wedding dresses and dates back to her marriage to Prince Leopold in 1816.

Princess Charlotte's Wedding Dress
Princess Charlotte’s Wedding Dress (Royal Collection)

I have always wanted to see the dress in person having looked at pictures and read about it in books many times. The dress has not been on public display since 1997 when it was displayed in an exhibition at the Museum of London. he exhibition entitled In Royal Fashion displayed a collection of clothes belonging to both Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria. Some of Princess Charlotte’s dresses are now so fragile that they will never be put back on public display so it has been fantastic to have been able to see 3 of them in the last year at The Royal Pavillion. The dress made a brief appearance for a press call at Kensington Palace in 2011 along with several other royal wedding dresses to mark the occasion of Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton.

The dress was briefly on display to the press at Kensington Palace in 2011 (Historic Royal Palaces, Royal Collection)

The dresses came to be in the care of the Museum of London way back in  1927 when they were sent by Queen Mary, who was an avid collector of Royal articles and history. Below is a copy of the memorandum sent by Queen Mary which mention’s Charlotte’s wedding dress.

071Image from In Royal Fashion by Kay Staniland (Museum of London)e

The dress itself is stunningly beautiful, I’d recommend seeing it in person while it is on display. It’s hard to really appreciate the fine silver stitching of the dress in photographs. It is obviously in very delicate condition now and with such, it could be a very long time before it is on display again.

There are a few mysteries surrounding the dress not many details survive of who it was made by, Princess Charlotte rarely mentioned details of clothing in her letters and no accounts or bills from dress makers survive. Most of the details for the wedding and outfits were arranged by her grandmother Queen Charlotte. The only written records of the dress are found in fashion journals. The following is a description from La Belle Assemblee – June 1st 1816

silver lama on net, over a silver tissue slip, embroidered at the bottom with silver lama in shells and flowers. Body and sleeves to correspond, elegantly trimmed with point Brussels lace. The manteau was of silver tissue lined with white satin, with a border of embroidery to answer that on the dress, and fastened in front with a splendid ornament.

The description of the dress varies slightly from the dress we see today, there are signs of alteration on the dress which is made up of a separate bodice, skirt, train and underskirt. Due to inaccuracies with contemporary descriptions and inconsistencies between the different parts of the dress it is probable that the dress was assembled from unpicked sections of two separate dresses each belonging to Princess Charlotte sometime before it entered in the London Museums care in 1927. It was only after extensive research and examination of the dress leading to its display in 1997 that this was discovered.

Princess Charlotte's Wedding DressPrincess charlotte's Wedding Dress073Images of the wedding dress taken from In Royal Fashion by Kay Staniland (Museum of London, Royal Collection)

The dress however is very close to descriptions from 1816 and the fact that it is slightly altered from the one worn by Princess Charlotte does not affect either its beauty or its historic significance.

The video below from Kensington Palace shows the dress on display alongside the other Royal wedding dresses, I love this video as it gives more of a sence of the glittering silver threads than you would get in a photograph. I have taken a couple of stills from the video so you can see the way the dress catches the light…

Princess Charlotte's Wedding Dress075Princess Charlotte's wedding dress

You can find out more about the Charlotte the Forgotten Princess Exhibition here

The exhibition runs until 10th March 2013

Other Blog Posts Featuring Princess Charlotte…

Engravings of Princess Charlotte

Charlotte the Forgotten Princess at the Royal Pavillion

Carlton House London’s Lost Palace

The last few weeks have been very busy again. Being a mum, organising my next vintage fair, and being a complete history geek can mean I dont get a minute to blog. I have also joined the many thousands of women all over the world who have fallen for a man who goes by the name of Christian Grey!

As I mentioned in a previous post I have been to Brighton a couple of times in the last month to do some Princess Charlotte related research. This included two amazing talks, one on the life of Princess Charlotte and the other was about regency midwifery. Both were facinating and I learnt a lot. I will get round to this in another post soon, I promise!

I have done quite a lot of bargain hunting recently and tried out some new car boot sales and charity shops. Purchaes include a dresser, a very old antique chest, lots of frames, an antique draughts set and two victorian chairs, so I have lots of restoration projects to get on with! (yet again blog post on this soon)

I recently bought two stunning dresses from my favourite repro vintage shop Love ur Look and I’m so happy with them. I will definitely be wearing one of them to my next vintage fair on July 28th. Heres a pic of the dresses from their website…

This is the flyer for the vintage fair, if your in Wimbledon on July 28th I hope to see you there!
In the mean time I have a house to clean and a Dickens audio book to listen to. The sun is actually shining in London today so get outside and enjoy it while you can!


London Palace
I have been writing alot about Princess Charlotte recently, I thought now would be a good time to write a little about her background. Starting with the house she was born and spent part of her chilhood in. Carlton House is London’s lost palace, and I only wish it was still there to experience for myself!
Princess Charlotte was born on 7th January 1796 at Carlton House in London. Carlton House was the magnificent home of her father George IV who at the time was Prince of Wales.
Carlton House was located in the St Jame’s area on London and ran alongside the Mall.
The house had been given to the Prince in 1783 when he came of age and he had remodelled and furnished it at immense expense. Some visitors were said to have have found it almost vulgar in it’s opulence. Although Horace Walpole described the palace as ‘the most perfect in Europe’
When the Prince married Charlotte’s mother Caroline of Brunswick in 1795 she was given apartments on the Principle floor. However after their official separation in 1798 she moved out. Princess Charlotte continued to reside in the nursery rooms located in the attic.
Carlton house
image: Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster 1799 Richard Horwood
When George became King in 1820 he deemed that his own residence was too small for a reighning monarch, he could have moved in The official royal residence at nearby St Jame’s Palace or even Buckingham House that had been remodelled by his parents, but he felt that neither of these would suit his needs. There was a possibility of completely rebuilding Carlton House as a Palace more suited to a king, but in the end Buckingham House was rebuilt as Buckingham Palace so it is thanks to George IV that we have the magnificent Palace we see today. He decided to demolish Carlton House in 1825 and in its place a row of houses known as Carlton house Terrace was built. These houses can still be seen today. The huge pillars that fronted Carlton house can now be seen on the facade of the National Gallery in London.

Carlton House

Image: Ordnance survey map showing Carlton house on a modern Street Plan.
Much of the fine decoration and furniture was moved to George’s Marine Pavilion at Brighton including some of the most interesting pieces from the Chinese room.
It seems tragic to modern historians that Carlton House no longer stands. It is only thanks to books like Pyne’s Royal Residences and contemporary accounts that we can picture this magnificent palace.
Carlton House Pyne
Carlton House Pyne
Images: The Rose Satin Drawing Room and The Throne Room, Carlton House, from The History of the Royal Residences,William Henry Pyne
References: Carlton House The Past Glories of George IVs Palace – Buckingham Palace 1991

I’ve been very busy the last couple of weeks with lots of vintage and family related happenings. So I’ve had no time at all for blogging. Amongst other things I have been approached by Hampton Court Palace to organise some vintage stalls at their Jubilee event in June. Anyway, yesterday I had by wisdom tooth extracted, and while I’m resting, feeling sorry for myself and eating sorbet, it seems like the perfect time to talk about my trip to Brighton.

The Royal Pavillion, Brighton

As I have mentioned in a couple of other posts, I have a bit of an obbsession with Princess Charlotte daughter of George IV. Describing her as ‘the forgotten princess’ pretty much sums up how over time her short life has been forgotten. So obviously I was delighted when I heard about the new exhibition at The Royal Pavillion, devoted to her story and artifacts from her life.

The last major exhibition involving Princess Charlotte was back in 1997 when the Museum of London held an exhibition entitled ‘In Royal Fashion’ which was a collection of dresses belonging to Princess Charlotte and Queen Victoria. I am lucky enough to own the book from the exhibition which I would recommend to anyone who can get their hands on a copy.

Princess Charlotte’s Russian Dress, Museum of London

We are lucky that so many of Princess Charlotte’s clothes survive. As far as I know they were passed on to a dress maker and were kept untouched and eventually passed to Queen Mary as part of her Royal collection, she then donated them to the museum of London. I can’t go into too much detail on this as my copy of the book is still in storage since my move. In fact this would probably make a very interesting future blog post!

Princess Charlotte, by Geaorge Dawe, 1817, National Portrait Gallery

The reason i have mentioned Princess Charlotte’s clothing is that two of her dresses are featured in this exhibition. One of them ‘the russian dress’ is hugely significant as there are several portraits of her, where she is painted wearing this dress, which happens very rarely. The post famous painting featuring the russian dress is one I have seen many times at The National Portrait Gallery, painted by George Dawe. The painting is currently on loan the The Royal Pavillion to be shown alongside the dress.

The exhibition features some famous engravings of Charlotte as a child with her mother Caroline as well as contemporary caricatures. One of the nicest depictions of her childhood is a little piece of linen baby clothing worn by Charlotte in infancy, it is charming to see something like this survive and remind’s me of Charlotte’s little baby shoes that were on display at Kensington Palace during ‘The Enchanted Palace Exhibition’. The saddest part of the whole exhibition is another piece of baby clothing, this one part of the layette for Charlotte’s baby son who was still-born shortly before her death. It reminds us of the tragedy that ended Charlotte’s life. Not only was she the future queen of England, but the baby boy had he survived would have grown up to be king.

Much of the rest of the exhibition is made up of artifacts from the time. Regency people were clearly fans of souvenirs and pretty much anything could be turned into a commemorative item. There is a mix of items commemoration Charlotte’s marriage and also many from her death.

This is a very short and limited exhibition, representing a very short life. The choice of items is perfect as you get a very strong impression of Charlotte’s short life as well as the impact of her death upon the country. Not to mention the fact that the exhibition is set within the incredible Royal Pavillion. This is the perfect day out for any regency fanatic. The Pavillion is more sumptuous and grand than you could ever imagine, it is a shock to the senses and gives a fabulous impression of the Prince Regent himself as a man of both great taste and utter greed.

The Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion, from John Nash’s Views of the Royal Pavilion (1826).

The exhibition is running until 10th march 2013 find out more here