Creepy Covers

“That is really creepy” said Conrad, my 13 year old, when I showed him this picture. He is right of course. It’s actually beyond creepy.

Tatler magazine had asked my parents if they could put me on their cover, a special issue celebrating the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana, to whom I was being a bridesmaid. I can only image they agreed to it because the great and fabled Norman Parkinson was to be the photographer.

A huge crew arrived at my parents home, lights cameras and a lot of action. My mother was furious; why were they putting lipstick on a child? My father was furious; they asked him if he had a pair of pliers they could borrow. “Do I look like an electrician?” he said, before storming off to his library.

I was furious; what was that awful frilly shirt I was being asked to wear?

I remember the moment I was asked to be their bridesmaid. I was on holiday in the Bahamas when the call came through from Buckingham Palace and the Prince of Wales, who was my ­godfather. I was horrified. I was going to have to wear a dress. I was a 12 year old tomboy, and never out of my jodhpurs.

Charles was, and still is, a ­remarkable godfather — caring,  ­considerate and involved. I adored him then and still do now. When I was ­growing up, his birthday and ­Christmas presents were always well thought-out.

For many years I would receive a china teacup or gravy dish — confusing for a child, but now as an adult I have full sets of beautiful china. One year, a gold and silver bracelet he had commissioned arrived that had my initials interlocking on it. Another year, a picnic blanket in the family tartan.

So despite the thought that I would have to wear a dress at the wedding, I glowed with pride to have been asked by him.

Thirty-five years ago today.

2 thoughts on “Creepy Covers”

  1. Has it been 35 years already? So hard to believe. So much has happened since then. This was a very odd photo true, but your beautiful face overcomes the costume which makes you like as if you had just come out of a Shakespeare play. You did an incredible job as a bridesmaid too, especially with that long train of Diana’s. I saw the dress you wore, I think at Kensington Palace, but perhaps at Althorp as well. I’ve seen Diana’s gorgeous wedding gown a couple of times. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this day. I had bookmarked your page a couple of years ago when a friend first told me about it and just happened to find it again today of all days. What a wonderful woman you have become. Thank you, India, from the bottom of my heart for sharing your memories, your life, and your incredible style with the rest of us.

  2. I don’t get creepy, I actually like the white frilly blouse. It’s poetic and regal. The gaze somewhat reminds me of the Mona Lisa. What an honor to have participated in such a momentous occasion. Although, I can’t help but to feel sadness about Diane.

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