Tag Archives: Princess Diana

Another Preppy Style Guide & Another Auction of Princess Diana’s Gowns

Hello-Hello and happy middle-of-the-week Thursday, we are a bit confused as to what day of the week it is.

Via LoveLaughShop.com

We begin with an enormous ‘Thank You’ to everyone, your kind support while The Consort spent some time getting acquainted with the local hospital is very much appreciated. TC is on the mend, he was touched by all of the well-wishes and prayers.  We both feel more-than-blessed by the friends we have made online.

Because we are still catching up with Princess business, we must employ the “brevity is a virtue” motto, we start with word of yet another book that may be interesting to some readers.


“Preppy: Cultivating Ivy Style” is due out this October; the writers are Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle, they authored “Tartan: Romancing the Plaid” back in 2007.  The foreword is by Lilly Pulitzer.  We originally heard about the book from our pal Christian at Ivy Style, the comments following his post on the book echo our sentiments about the cover, the image is not representative of any ‘preppy’ or ‘ivy style’ we are familiar with. (The book is available for pre-order here.)


Next, news about a significant auction of gowns worn by Princess Diana.

Via The National Post

The auction is this June, on the 23rd, at Waddington’s in Toronto.

Via The National Post

All are exquisite, and the detailing is nothing short of amazing.

Via The National Post

The National Post has an excellent story on the upcoming auction, with background on the gowns.

Via The National Post

From the Post’s story:

“The majority of the cocktail and evening dresses — with starting bids ranging from $175,000 up to $1M — were specifically made for Diana by her favourite fashion designer, Catherine Walker.”

Via The National Post

More from the story:

“One of the most coveted pieces includes the gorgeous dark blue silk velvet off-the-shoulder Victor Edelstein gown she wore to a state dinner at the White House, which was also attended by actor John Travolta.”

Via The National Post

For a look at the catalogue, with photos of the late Princess wearing the gowns and information about each dress, click here.


We leave you with a quick Pretty in Pink and Green.


We show the Balenciaga Papier Ligne bag in two variations of our favorite colors.

It is good to be back blogging.  It is better yet to have The Consort home again. 🙂


Filed under preppy, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

The Bee Plans A Royal Wedding Party

Hello-Hello, and Happy Tuesday! Today your trusty scribe is gadding about so we are immensely grateful to our Royal Correspondent for stepping up to the plate with an in-depth look at party preps, on the off chance anyone might be planning a celebration to mark the upcoming nuptials (you know, *that wedding*).

A bit of background when seeing the suppliers’ names, the Bee selected them for specific reasons: Party Pieces is the company owned and operated by Kate Middleton’s parents, Duchy Originals was created in 1990 by Prince Charles, Althorp is the Spencer family estate where Princess Diana is buried and Highgrove is home for Prince Charles and Camilla, proceeds from the gift shop at Highgrove fund The Prince’s charities.


We’re coming down to the wire to THE wedding.  I recently started to think about just what I would be doing on the day and had a minor epiphany; “I wonder if it would be possible to throw a tongue-in-cheek party using products that are sold and/or the official ____________  whatevers (you can fill in the blank, there seems to be an official everything with this) on the 29th”?  Let me tell you, it’s all too easy to shape up most of your party from Party Pieces and the Duchy of Cornwall’s Line for Waitrose.  Even to concede to the Spencer family, the Althorp Gift Shoppe appears on the List of THE Wedding Party Wares a la the Queen Bee.

Party Decorations:

Party Pieces Union Jack Lantern– On this side of the pond, we’re going to have to get up before even the newspaper kid starts his route, what better way to welcome your guests than a few of these brightly lining the drive?

Party Pieces

Party Pieces 82 Foot-Long Union Jack Bunting– Why not strew a few doorways, tables, houseplants, chandeliers even, with this bunting (my personal favorite).

Party Pieces

9×6 foot Union Jack Flag– Could be used as tablecloth, cape, draped over an armchair or (appropriately) hung with pride.

Party Pieces

Party Poppers- You may be popping the champagne (see suggestions below) but the kiddies can take part in the very British merriment by popping these crackers.

Party Pieces

Champagne Bubbles- You are having bubbles (again, see suggestions below for adult tipples) so why not the kiddies (and those who are children at heart) as the couple makes their way to Buckingham Palace?

Party Pieces

I “Heart” GB Balloons– What better way to dress up your serving table, viewing room or even tie to your mailbox to further take on the air of jubilation.

Party Pieces

Serving Pieces:

Party Pieces Cake Stands– Though we will be using a platter also from bespoke website, this would be the perfect solution to serve all of those cucumber sandwiches for elevenses as the coverage starts to wind down.

Party Pieces

Party Pieces Plates– The heritage and whimsy of English bone china is touched upon in these easy to dispose of paper plates- since who wants a big clean up if you’re going to start partying at 4 AM?

Party Pieces

Party Pieces Party Cups– By far my favorite piece from the whole “British Vintage Street Party” Collection offered on Party Pieces.  Will be great for everything from tea to champers.

Party Pieces

Princess Carriage Party Food Hold-All– Maybe your guests are the type who care to balance cocktail plate, beverage and other miscellany as they celebrate.  Since all the first-tier Windsors (by blood or by marriage) will be employing a carriage on April 29th, why not you?  Though we should note, unless there is rain, you will be the only person with an enclosed carriage.

Party Pieces

Party Pieces Union Jack Paper Napkins– Because it wouldn’t be very princessy to place our cups on the table without one.

Party Pieces

Fairytale Princess Party Napkins– Tongue in cheek, QBS declares, “I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.”

Party Pieces


Althorp Shoppe’s Chocolate Chip Biscuits– Wanted to make sure that the Spencer Family knew that they were included in our celebration (a very tongue-in-cheek har har here).


Duchy Originals Highland Shortbread– As the couple met in Scotland at St. Andrew’s University and is said to have a love for the Scottish Highlands, this is a fitting part of your spread.

Duchy Originals

Duchy Originals Oaten Biscuits– What good British spread wouldn’t include oat-cakes?  Very lightly sweet, they’re great on their own or with cheese; I would recommend a good Stilton (layered cheddar and Roquefort- very British and one of the handful of cheeses that seldom touch these lips).

Duchy Originals

Duchy Originals Sandgringham Strawberry Preserves– We’re starting the day very early, maybe too early for extreme sweets, so a dollop of these preserves over toast might be a better way to ease into the celebrations.  Could also use in a glaze for a roast or in a trifle.

Duchy Originals

Other Non-Royally Produced Suggestions- As mentioned earlier, tea sandwiches ranging from finger to cucumber would be a lovely savory item to serve your guests.  While a bit early for strawberries to be in-season, strawberries and cream is very British and would make for the perfect breakfast treat.


Union Jack Chocolate Cake Kit- Serve this as the Wedding cake along with the Bride and Groom toppers as seen below.

Party Pieces

Cake Kits’ Golden Sponge Cake Mix– Prince William’s new brother-in-law, James Middleton, peddles cake making kits (on his parents website, amongst others), so we’re incorporating more family into our celebration.  Perhaps bake and slice to use in a trifle, as he noted Kate once did after improperly cooking him a birthday cake?  Revenge is sweet and you can use the Duchy Originals’ Strawberry Preserves in the cake to meld Windsor and Middleton families.  Serve in lieu of Groom’s Cake.

Party Pieces

Party Pieces Cake Platter– Surely this is what the Windsors will be serving up the cake on, non?

Party Pieces

Blonde Groom Cake Topper– Though Prince William will be in Dress Uniform instead of morning coat and top hat.

Party Pieces

Brunette Bride Cake Topper– Though I believe Kate will wear her luscious locks up, not down, as to further set off whatever tiara she does wear that day.

Union Jack Cake Candles– Surely at some point Kate blew out a candle with the wish to marry Prince William, why not let your guests make castles-in-the-sky wishes too on the day of a wild-beyond-wild dream coming true?

Party Pieces


Tattigner Champagne– May we suggest the only Champagne to have QEII’s insignia (and therefore official approval) to toast the newlyweds as they walk out of Westminster Abbey as man and wife and proceed in carriage to Buckingham Palace?

Laurent-Perrier– This is the Champagne that has Prince Charles’ insignia proudly stamped on it.  Possibly to save to pop after we’ve seen all the royals on the balcony at Buckingham Palace and are now hunkering down to read all of the blogs and watch re-play of the coverage?

Hereford Reserve Dry Cider– After we’ve all but exhausted our bubbles, we bring out the swill, Prince Charles’ Highgrove brand cider.  Very British to do so, this is what shows up when reveling has gone on into the wee hours, even the first wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral highlights this practice.


Highgrove Shop’s Engagement Jigsaw Puzzle– To date, I am unsure if the coverage will be wholly uninterrupted, but in the event of commercials or nonsensical morning news anchors unintelligibly babbling, what better way to kill the time than putting together this jigsaw puzzle until the cultural eye-candy is back on the air?

Highgrove Shop

For the record on how I plan on commemorating the day: Pigs in a blanket, a few bottles of Veuve Cliquot, fresh strawberries and as many of those little Union Jack flag toothpicks as we can get our little paws on.  I’m between my tiara or red fascinator to pair with my pajamas.

Party Pieces Union Jack Flag Face Paint Kit– The couple might wear their hearts on their sleeves, but you can wear your pride on your face as we watch one of the biggest weddings of the century.

Party Pieces

Princess Party Tiaras– In the event that unlike QBS, you do not own a tiara AND fascinator, you simply must pick up some of these so your guests are able to be properly adorned; one wouldn’t think of even attending this wedding without some kind of a headpiece.

Party Pieces

A tad more on how QBS will celebrate the day: The Lord Chamberlain did not recognize the Royal House of QBS, so she is without invitation to Westminster, much less the luncheon and dinner celebrations at Buckingham Palace later in the day.  QBS and sister, at present, are planning on sleeping over at their parents’ house, waking up earlier than they did to see what Santa left them for Christmas 1989. We will then commence the merrymaking, much to our parents’ chagrin, but when you buy a larger than large flatscreen,wall-mounted television for the sunroom, how do you say no to your two little darlings 😉  Bottles of good bubbles, including Laurent Perrier are already chilling, QBS has some Union Jack toothpicks that will surely grace the mini pigs in a blanket that we have decided on.  Our mother will certainly insist upon petit-fours, as those are “daintily regal.”  As the celebration starts at four AM (an ungodly hour, even for this gal who is used to 5 AM practices), the dress code will be relaxed enough to wear pajamas and tiaras (or my fascinator, I’m not sure yet).

Glasses Up!

The QueenBee, kHm


A quick postscript for any philatelists, The Royal Mail has released images of the official stamps, for a quick peek click here.


Filed under preppy

Official Royal Wedding Website Announced & “A Dress for Diana”

Hello-Hello, and happy Tuesday!

We begin with some rather fascinating news from Clarence House, released via Twitter:

Via Twitter

Yeppers, an Official Royal Wedding website has been launched.  Here is a look at the Home Page for the site:

From The Royal Wedding

The announcement itself demonstrates the way the Monarchy has embraced social media:

“The website will bring together all of the official social media around the event, including the Clarence House and Buckingham Palace Flickr account, Twitter (@Clarence House), The Royal Channel on YouTube and the British Monarchy Facebook page, providing direct easy access to all channels of communication. Subject to further planning work, the website may feature a live web stream broadcast of the wedding itself.”

There are tabs with information on the service, the procession, the reception and more.

The site has one detail that is more-than-relevant to our post today:

“…on the day itself the site will be the first place to view information such as the details of Miss Middleton’s wedding dress.

It is all very wise on the part of the monarchy, an outstanding way to dispense, and control, wedding news.

Next, a wonderful post from our very own Royal Correspondent, Queen Bee Swain.


A Dress for Kate – A Dress for Diana – David and Elizabeth Emanuel

Kate Middleton clearly won last week with her first three official (and triumphant) appearances, at the military base in Anglesey, Wales, the 600th Anniversary kick-off of St. Andrews University in Scotland and at the signing of the condolences book for the victims of the Earthquake in New Zealand in London.  With a calendar that is yet to be announced of her next appearance, we appearingly must come down to earth again until she re-emerges.  (More on those appearances here.)

Via British Monarch Flickr Page

Without new footage of her latest comings and goings, the focus is certainly due to shift back to The Dress.  At this time, the designer is still yet unknown and it is said by reliable sources that it is being made inside Buckingham Palace as to be under the tightest security before April 29th.  Meanwhile, Princess Diana’s wedding dress was recently on the Today Show, appearing after a few months in Grand Rapids, MI and on exhibit in Kansas City through April, beginning this Friday.

Via Better World Books

This might be the most perfect segue ever to the book that the Emanuels (couple David and Elizabeth were the atelier who designed and made Princess Diana’s wedding dress) book titled “A Dress for Diana.”  This book is part memoir, part operations management case study; they reflect upon the very start of their business (not too soon before Princess Diana burst onto the scene), to when they first met Diana, to the process of creating one of the most photographed dresses of all time, to the run-down on the wedding day and tie it all up with the aftermath of the Big Day.  The book was put together in 2006 from the immense amount of papers, documents, photographs and bric-a-brac the Emanuels catalogued throughout the Dress process.

Via CocoPerez.com

The Emanuels and Princess Diana first crossed paths when British Vogue called their shop for a few items for a photoshoot.  They sent them over, not thinking much more than they had a chance of having a piece appear in the magazine.  Little did they know that Princess Diana’s older sisters worked for Vogue and were clandestinely amassing a selection for her Official Portrait as Princess in Waiting.  She spied the top, loved it and asked for the designer’s information.  From there, she rang the Emanuels to discuss the possibility of them designing The Dress.

From the get-go, you are lead through the expansive and imperative role and meaning of the creation and symbolism the Dress stood for.  Influences and inspiration were drawn from other Royal brides, portraiture of generations of family members and the Empire past, present and future.  Materials used, from the lace, to silk, to seed pearls to the flowers in the arrangements were too all be British- liaising and procuring these wares was a job in and of itself.  To top it all off were the security, protocol, media and deadline pressures and issues.


The Dress and the Blouse weren’t the only pieces Diana wore by the Emanuels.  As seen above with Prince Charles and her Sereness, Princess Grace (a few months before her own untimely death), was the dress the Emanuels designed that turned who the media had dubbed Shy Di into the English Rose of a Force that Princess Diana was in the fashion world.  Diana would continue to work with the Emanuels throughout the rest of her life to commission various pieces.

Via Wales Online

I spied this book when dropping a slew of old books off at the used book store a few years ago and continually find myself picking it up; the curatorial and operations management pieces of the creation of the Dress are ceaselessly fascinating and always draw me back to take a quiet look at how it all came to be.  Definitely worth scooping up on Amazon.com or requesting at your local library as we ride out the remaining fifty-some days until April 29th.

The Queen Bee, kHm

NOTE: More on the book is also available at Elizabeth Emanuel’s website.


Filed under preppy

When It’s Lilly or Louder & When a Royal-to-Be Wears Black

Hello-Hello, happy beginning of a bright and shiny new week.

We begin with the surprise cancellation of the History’s Channel big movie project, The Kennedys.

A&E/HIstory Channel

The eight-part miniseries was scheduled to air this spring, featuring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear as a young Jackie and John Kennedy. That changed late Friday, the Times’ Art Beat story has more:

“A big-budget miniseries about John F. Kennedy’s presidency that was criticized for its historical accuracy before it was even filmed will not be shown on the History channel, the cable network has announced.”

The Hollywood Reporter broke the story:

“…the project drew fire from the political left and some Kennedy historians. Even before cameras rolled, a front-page New York Times story last February included a sharp attack from former John F. Kennedy adviser Theodore Sorensen, who called an early version of the script “vindictive” and “malicious.”

Splash News

As of this writing, the series is still slated to launch in Canada March 9.

Those intrigued by Jackie Kennedy may enjoy Friday’s post, our interview with bestselling author Pamela Keogh on her new book, Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?


Something many readers have already seen or heard about, but not something we want to ignore altogether, the Red Cross Young Friends Beach Bash ten days ago. The dress code was simple: “Lilly or louder,” obviously not a problem for Lilly Pulitzer CEO Jim Bradbeer and Carol Bradbeer.

Alexia Fodere for The Wall Street Journal

Here’s a snippet of the Journal’s party story, It’s Preppy Prints at Pulitzer Party:

“PALM BEACH, Fla.—It may look like it from the outside, but not everyone wears Lilly Pulitzer in Palm Beach.

That noted, if a party in town is sponsored by the fashion company and run by one of Ms. Pulitzer’s grandsons, you can bet for sure there will be enough tropical preppy prints to make you dizzy.”

Below, the grandson referenced in the story, Bobby Leidy with Terri Mersentes, one of the gala’s chairwomen.

Debbie Schatz/Palm Beach Daily News

More from the Journal’s story:

“(Down in Palm Beach—and probably only down in Palm Beach—there’s a bit of a rivalry between new Lilly and old Lilly.)

“This is the anti-black tie of the season,” Mr. Leidy, who has been chairman of the event for the last four years and stressed the importance of the Red Cross in the area, which is often afflicted by hurricanes. (His brother, Chris, an underwater photographer, was also there.) “Lilly is synonymous with old Palm Beach, and I think people want to be a part of what it was back then. Look around at all the Lilly here! It’s just as cool as it was 30 years ago.”

Another couple at the party.

Debbie Schatz/Palm Beach Daily News

This is considered the ‘junior event’ to one of the season’s biggest social gatherings in Palm Beach, the International Red Cross Ball, deemed “the party” of the year.


We move on to this weekend’s royal news, the ensemble sported by Kate Middleton at a friend’s wedding. From The Daily Mail:

“Beneath a tailored velvet dress coat by Libelula, she wore an elegant above-the-knee dress with a sheer neckline tapering to a silver clasp, an outfit completed by a black pillbox hat with an intricate fascinator, plum-coloured shoes and matching clutch bag.

Big Pictures via The Daily Mail

In some quarters much is being made of the sheer top worn by Miss Middleton, who celebrated her last birthday as a commoner Saturday, she is 29.

The Sun

The coat designer, Libelula, also does bridal gowns.
We believe Miss Middleton’s coat is the silk velvet Dulwich, available on the Libelula website.
In addition to the sheer top, the young lady’s choice of black for a wedding is under scrutiny. The circumstances are reminiscent of an eyebrow-raising appearance made by Prince William’s mother, Lady Diana Spencer, when she made a high-profile appearance shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles was announced.

The Daily Mail

The daring black silk taffeta gown by David and Elizabeth Emanuel set some tongues to wagging.

The Daily Mail

Frankly, we think both looked stunning.


A final note involving these lovelies:

Murray's Toggery

We had no idea Murray’s was offering a driving moc, they look just delightful, and ever-so-comfy. Does anyone have a pair, are they are wonderful as they look? Our expiring mind is dying to know.

With that, we hope everyone enjoys a splendiferous Monday!


Filed under preppy

“Year of the Lilly”? and a Royal Wedding Dress Update

Hello-Hello, we apologize for another “blended post,” this one being of the “Wednursday” variety, but things are a little chaotic here at Princess InterGalactic HQ.

Our post has lots of pretty pictures to tide us over the two-day span, we begin with a look at what is being called “The Year of the Lilly” by one noted writer, and we’re not talking about a shift dress.  Rather, Lynn Byrne of Decor Arts Now is looking at significant interior design trends for next year, as noted in the December/January issue of House Beautiful:

“For the “traditional with a twist” gang, dubbed the Accessorators by HB, the magazine foresees that a certain Palm Beach/Lilly Pulitzer vibe will be what’s rocking next year.

Funny, but I have been spotting the Lilly trend too, and I already have amassed quite a number of photos to share with you.”

Decor Arts Now

Below is just one of the luscious pictures Ms. Byrne shares in her story on the topic.

Decor Magazine via DecorArtsNow

House Beautiful editor Newell Turner came up with the four groups seen as impacting design trends (“The New Victorians,” “The Glams” and “The Ruralists” comprise the other three groups), here is more from Decor Arts about the “Accessorators“:

“This group is the “traditional with a twist” clique.  It is described in the Dec/Jan 2010 issue as a “flirty, colorful mix with a keen fashion eye.”  According to Newell, here is where you’ll find your bright ikat and other ethnic patterns, tossed together with classic furniture forms like the Frances Elkins loop chair.  He called it a look that embraced collections and stressed that it had its roots in the “great lady decorators” like Elsie de Wolfe.”

Below, two photos Mr. Turner used when discussing this style.

We’ll take one of just about everything please. 🙂


Next, a quick glance at some lovely images from Tiffany’s holiday campaign.

Tiffany & Co.

The company has posted the pictures on its Facebook page, there is also a Tiffany You Tube channel one can look at if so inclined.

Tiffany & Co.


From one elegant setting to another, we couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures from last night’s premiere of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in Leicester Square. The Queen’s blue gown looked simply stunning.

Ian Nicholson/Pool

The beading on Rebecca Ferguson’s coat collar looks exquisite, although the body of the coat somehow ended up looking very bulky.

Actor Liam Neeson was in dapper form, actress Anna Popplewell looked elegant.

The film opens in the US in about ten days.


As we’re chatting about events on the far side of the pond, an update on the Kate Middleton wedding dress saga seems timely (with apologies to our Twitter followers, as we did mention this earlier in the week on that site).  It seems British oddsmakers have stopped taking bets on who will design the wedding gown, following heavy wagering on designer Bruce Oldfield.  Here is more from the Daily Mail:

“Now bookmakers have received the strongest indication yet that a designer for the gown has been chosen. Paddy Powerhas received so many wagers on Bruce Oldfield to design the Royal wedding dress, it has suspended betting.”

Mr. Oldfield is a British designer, and he has dressed a number of celebrities, not the least of whom was Prince William’s mother, the late Princess of Wales. He has a solid couture business, including wedding gowns. More on the designer from WWD:

“Oldfield, who has made one-off dresses for clients including Britain’s first lady Samantha Cameron, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sienna Miller, Charlotte Rampling and Queen Rania of Jordan, has been making couture dresses for 35 years and is a London fashion institution.”

Below we see two of Mr. Oldfield’s wedding gowns.

As in previous posts, we are showing dresses with a more covered-up look, recognizing the “appropriateness” of the dress will be of paramount concern.

Here are two of Mr. Oldfield’s designs for the Princess.

Via Hello! magazine

While we really have nary a clue on Ms. Middleton’s taste, we do not see her sporting a lot of lace, or frou-frou of any kind. We suspect if not being married under the scrutiny of a billion or two of her closest friends, she might go for something like these designs….

But given the requirements of a royal-to-be, we’re speculating perhaps designs like those below could work for the fashionable young lady.

What do you think? Will we see bare shoulders? Lace? Lots of embellishments or beading or other appliqued materials?

With that burning question, we say goodbye until next time!


  • Dave Hogan/Getty
  • Gareth Cattermole/Getty
  • Kieran Doherty/Getty


Filed under preppy