Queen Mother’s dress takes centre stage

Deborah Phipps makes final adjustments to the Queen Mother's wedding dress before it goes on display at Glamis Castle. (Picture by Photos on Location, Forfar).
Deborah Phipps makes final adjustments to the Queen Mother's wedding dress before it goes on display at Glamis Castle. (Picture by Photos on Location, Forfar).

ROYAL wedding fever continues at Glamis Castle with the arrival of another piece of history which is now on show to the public (writes Janet Thomson)..

Last Thursday staff at the Queen Mother’s childhood home welcomed textile conservator Deborah Phipps who travelled from Buckingham Palace with the Queen Mother’s wedding dress for its first public display in Scotland.

She ensured the dress was displayed with the utmost care and attention on a mannequin last used at Kensington Palace.

The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, great-nephew of the Queen Mother, said he was “delighted that the Queen had agreed to his request to display her mother’s wedding dress at Glamis Castle.”

The dress has only been displayed once before and that was at Kensington Palace in 2009.

Glamis Castle will display the dress for only the second time since it was worn in 1923.

It will form the centre piece to the Historic Wedding Exhibition at Glamis which opened to the public on April 29 and will continue until the end of the summer season. Commenting on the dress, David Broadfoot, castle administrator said: “Staff are over the moon that the Queen Mother’s wedding dress has come to Glamis, and for the first time since 1923, it is displayed alongside one of her bridesmaids dresses.

“The season has started off with very encouraging visitor figures, the sunshine and public holidays have definitely helped, and with the Prom back on the event calendar we are optimistic that the summer will be successful.”

The exhibition includes a number of other fascinating items including the official wedding programme and menu from the Queen Mother and King George’s wedding in 1923; the bridesmaid’s dress worn by Betty Cator (one of the eight bridesmaids at the royal wedding) and a unique recreated wedding dress, which Mary Eleanor Bowes (Wedlock) wore in 1767. At the time her dress cost £3,000.

Also featured is a brooch which was given to each bridesmaid as a gift from the Royal couple - a York rose carved from crystal with a crowned E. A. in diamonds and a fascinating book, ‘The illuminated address from the County of Angus’ given to the Queen Mother by the county of Angus as a wedding gift.

This contains beautifully illustrated water colour paintings and handwritten wishes from Sir J.M. Barrie.

Also featured is the signature page from the visitor’s book signed from Albert and Elizabeth, many personal photographs from the Strathmore family weddings and dance cards from various family weddings.