God Save the Queen - my Jubilee memories. August 03rd 2012
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee began for me over two years ago. I knew that I wanted to design a really special commemorative shoe which would reflect everything that was strong, durable, classic and sparkling. The completely new design of a shoe takes a long time, it is no five minute process - unless you are one of my copy- cat competitors who simply buy up all my shoes and send them to their factory in Majorca and just faithfully copy them - well yes, that only takes five minutes!
I started with the specially designed and handmade diamanté embellishment for the front of the shoe and then from there progressed to the last, the new silver insoles and soles with their specially designed embossing, detailing the date of the Coronation and a Coronation Crown emblazoned on the top.
The material for the shoes took ages to decide upon and finally I chose a silver snakeskin and a silver glitter and soft silver kid leather - completely gorgeous.
Several samples later, we received our first fully approved sample and everyone in our offices just stared in awe at the final concept of such a massive labour of love. They were gorgeous. These delicious shoes just sparkled and shone and in my mind I saw the Queen as a young woman, utterly radiant and completely beautiful, gazing up into the eyes of her handsome ( hunky, sexy, gorgeous, divine) Prince!
And so for me, apart from creating a shoe which has been a phenomenal success and given such pleasure to so many people who bought them, my abiding memories of the Jubilee start with the many pictures and television films that showed the Queen during her years as a young woman, before her Coronation - growing up in a stable and loving family with her doting and much adored parents.
As Princess Elizabeth, she was filmed playing with her dogs, playing with her younger sister (my all-time favourite customer the completely amazing Princess Margaret who liked nothing better than to sit in my little shop in Ellis Street with lovely Jane Stevens and gossip with my staff!) and most memorable of all flirting outrageously with all the sailors on board the Royal Yacht Britannia whilst playing Deck Quoits! Amazing.
It is hard now to see the Queen as a remarkably vibrant and beautiful young woman with a dazzling smile and exquisite eyes. Today she is still stylish and attractive, but when we see her aged about seventeen and gazing up at Prince Philip she was dazzling. As a new bride and a young mother, she was slim, with a tiny waist and perfect legs. Her hair was glossy and dark brown, her teeth were white, straight and stunning. Her skin was pale and creamy and almost translucent - she was a bit of a siren!! Never saucy or naughty, but men must have melted when she smiled at them.
When I was five years old, I remember clearly being taken to our next door neighbour’s house to watch the Coronation and we all crowded around a television set which although huge, had a screen no more than eight inches deep. I was given a tiny gold coach and commemorative silver Coronation Coin, which I lost almost immediately. The gold coach stayed with me until I left home to get married and then goodness knows where it went to.
My other lasting memories of the day itself were of the crowds of happy, honest, sincere and respectful people who had travelled miles to enjoy a day which honoured everything that the Queen has done for our great country during her remarkable lifetime and everything that Great Britain represents to me. Strength, integrity, honesty, generosity, humility, kindness and duty to those who depend on them.
Lastly, I will never forget the excitement of my lovely friend Zenouska who is my assistant Press Manager and who had been invited to the fabulous concert in the evening of the celebrations. She completely adores Robbie Williams and had been invited to the concert and as he was singing Let Me Entertain You, I texted her “Enjoying Robbie?” and as she was texting me back “Oh my God I adore him!” - Up she came on my television set texting me and dancing at the same time!
God Bless our Wonderful Queen.