Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In Fine Feather

As you might remember, while we were in New York in November I went through the Dowager Duchess's photo albums and digitized more of the memorable photos.

In my parents' wedding photo (which we have framed at home), The Duchess is wearing a [scandalous] dusty rose dress. It wasn't really scandalous; I just like getting a rise out of My-Mother-The-Duchess. Like when I told the story of how she and her friend Harriet picked up a couple of sailors. (Click here for that story.) I can hear her as she reads this, "Mitchell!"


My parents were married October 1947 while my father was  home on leave from the Army (after he "re-upped"). So, there was no big wedding. Otherwise, The Duchess would have had the traditional white gown. The Royal Consort (my father) would have been in a tux.

WITH THE SHOES AND THE FEATHER, MY MOTHER ADDED 9 INCHES TO HER HEIGHT.
(MY FATHER ADDED 3 INCHES TO HIS ... WITH THAT POMPADOUR.)

The always chic Duchess had a "fascinator" custom-made (think the British Royal Wedding, but not the British Royal Cousins) that included a dusty rose feather. (A "fascinator" is called a "tocado" here in Spain.)

CLICK FOR A CLOSER LOOK.

To my delight, the Duchess still had the feather taped inside her wedding album. Its not the rich dusty rose it once was. And it's clearly lost it's "oomph," being flattened inside the book these 66 years. But it's now scanned for posterity. I sure am glad she didn't try to save a slice of wedding cake. Although, if she had, I would have scanned that, too.

22 comments:

  1. What a great thing to keep.
    PS that picture of the Dowager Duchess and the Royal Consort is the cat's pajamas, and her shoes are totally Joan Crawford!

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    Replies
    1. Bob:
      Weren't they a stunning and stylin' couple?! Thankfully, The Dowager Duchess never had a [serious] problem with wire hangers.

      Delete
  2. I love looking at old family pictures. What a beautiful couple your parents were. I think 1947 was the year my mother painted our dining room dusty rose. It was "the color" just then.

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    Replies
    1. Kristi:
      Wow. A dusty rose dining room in 1947! Even if the color was fashionable, painting the walls that color must have been trend-setting.

      Delete
  3. Great picture of your parents. Your poor Mother - the fodder of so many blogposts :)

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    Replies
    1. Cheapchick:
      She loves it (and puts up with me)!

      Delete
  4. What a lovely photo.... you are so fortunate that not only did your family take a lot of pictures... they've had them in safe keeping all these years.

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    1. Sharon:
      And now they're all getting digitized. So grateful.

      Delete
  5. I don't feel sorry for the DD being fodder for so many of your posts. I feel a tremendous amount of love whenever you speak of her.

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    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      In response to Cheapchick's comment and then yours, the Duchess wrote and told me, "I might be fodder for your blog, but I do feel the love."

      Delete
  6. And here I thought the royal cousins fascinators were a brand new thing. I'm so glad those outrageous things have not caught on!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Those two specific Royal Cousins weren't started something new... I'm sure even their bad taste has been around for a long time. Tocados are very popular here in Spain, but I understand the fashion is waning in the UK (maybe because of the Royal Cousins?).

      Delete
  7. Oh I LOVE that photo! Love her shoes too!!

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    Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      My mother always had great tall shoes; even her slippers had heels. Although she's only lost one inch of height in her 86 years, she's about five inches shorter now that she mostly wears sneakers.

      Delete
  8. It makes me feel very sad for people who have lost family photos in a fire, or nowadays in a hard drive crash. Scan old photos and back them and new ones up everyone, and often. To me fascinator is a recent word. People have been wearing them for decades, but what were they called? Your mother's heels are certainly high.

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    1. Andrew:
      One of the benefits of modern technology: We're scanning everything we can and stashing back-ups all over the place (including on our keychains). I think the term "fascinator" to describe "hair ornaments" came about in the 1970s. (I think it was used to describe other kinds of head coverings centuries before.) When I was a boy, even my mother's slippers had heels. If she went barefoot even momentarily she would say she felt like she was falling over backwards.

      Delete
  9. What saddens me is the latest generations will have not photo box, no letter collections wrapped in ribbons or twine. There won't be any memories like this anymore.

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    Replies
    1. Spo:
      Maybe they'll have smart phones and thumb drives in their closets.

      Delete
  10. What a lovely post and what a nice souvenir that feather. You do look a lot like your father.

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  11. Wonderful photo...and thanks for the reminder of the term "fascinator". I've always loved that term.

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    Replies
    1. HK:
      I never even knew the term until "the" Royal Wedding.

      Delete

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