The replica silk and lace christening gown worn by royal babies since 2004 was dyed in Yorkshire tea to get the perfect shade, HELLO! can reveal. The robe, worn by Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and many of their cousins, was painstakingly recreated from the original Victorian garment which was worn by 62 members of the royal family since Queen Victoria commissioned it in 1841.
In her book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe, Angela details how she travelled to Italy to source the lace, carrying the priceless gown in a large handbag and, with the help of dressmaker Barbara Buckfield, known as June, set about recreating it back in Britain.
The gown was dyed in Yorkshire tea to get the perfect shade
"Together, we sourced lace to complement that being made in Italy, and to make sure it looked authentic we dyed it in Yorkshire tea (the strongest, as we all know)," she says. "We placed each piece of lace in a small bowl, from the Dressers' Kitchen, filled with cool water and a tea bag, and left it for about five minutes, checking regularly until the colour was perfect.
Prince Louis wearing the replica gown in 2018
"At each stage of the process, I would show our progress to the Queen: first the bodice, then the sleeves attached to it, then the skirt with the under-layers on, and finally the completed robe. Her Majesty was very interested to see how it was developing. From start to finish, it had taken us, appropriately, nine months."
The replica gown was first worn by James, Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and has appeared at every royal christening since then, most recently in July at the Windsor baptism of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son Archie.
Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out on Monday.
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