“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.