June. Jubilee month. Sixty years a queen. Just a blink of an eye since we were thinking about the Silver. I remember it well. Oh, yes. There was a Fancy Dress Parade..
At Guides that night our captain explained the idea carefully. To celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee the Guides would be holding a Big Day Out with a centre piece Fancy Dress competition and we were invited to enter an Elizabethan tableau presenting the Tudor Elizabeth I or our own Queen, at any point in her life. Did anyone have any ideas?
I did. Of course I did. I already had a dress. Just the year before we'd worked on a big "Middle Ages" project at school; and my Mum had made me a costume. I looked like this
and I fancied I was called Maud, or possibly Eleanor. I loved that dress. Truly loved it. But I was prepared to make sacrifices for the Girl Guiding cause. My Mum could re-fashion it, I thought, turn it Tudor with the help of my exacting instructions. I volunteered. My hand shot up faster than an arrow at the Battle of Agincourt..
And so it was agreed. If I could persuade my court dressmaker to work with me, I could be the young Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Henry VIII) and one of the older girls, dressed in a blue mortar board and gown, would act as my tutor.
And my Mum did do exactly as I asked. She cut the dress apart and remade it. It looked even better than before. And the new hat? The new hat was to die for (no, poor choice of phrase. We are talking Tudors. The hat was - a triumph.) I don't have a photo of me wearing it. I wish I had. But I do have a picture of a reasonably small Small One:
..and when the results came in, my world shattered around me. It was a monstrous miscarriage of justice. I was the Prettiest Princess! Prettiest Princess! What use was pretty to me? I didn't want to be pretty! I wanted to be most historically accurate Princess. I was Tudor, through and through. I knew my stuff. I was disgusted.
I accepted my prize with as much royal dignity as I could gather about me. Then I went and sat on the bus, thinking dark thoughts about public executions, until it was time to go home.
And that was the end of my royal pretensions. I kept the dress. The (Not So) Small One loved it too, even though the hat had disappeared by the time she was ready for it. Of course I made sure I took her picture. And now I look at it and smile. Because for me, she is The Prettiest Princess. No doubt about it.
That's my story for today. If you have one to share we'd love to hear from you! A photo and a few words (or maybe the few words without the photo?) or something a bit longer. I love them all! Create your post with an introduction (so your reader knows what's going on) and a link back here and then come on over. The linky stays open all week, so if your story isn't ready for Sunday - no worries!
The small print - which I'm not making small because I would like you to read it. I firmly believe we are telling stories in the round here. One person starts and then turns to the next. You can't do it in isolation. So I'm asking everyone who adds a link to say hello to at least a couple of the other storytellers. Go on, you know you want to..