Sunday, 3 June 2012

Storytelling Sunday 2: The Words The Pictures

Welcome! It's Storytelling Sunday. .

Prettiest Princess
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:



So imagine, not that lovely little dark haired Princess, but a blonde one, who slipped off her flares and special Jubilee t-shirt on a baking hot June day and transformed herself into a model of modest Tudor propriety.  I was confident. I was prepared. I held my head up high. We walked...

..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..





50 comments:

Amy said...

I can just imagine you seething over the thought of not being considered historically correct and 'merely' pretty!
I also think it is wonderful that you have that photo of TNSSO!

Karen said...

I've always loved your stories, but I think this might be one of the best ever! And so timely.

S said...

That story was a jewel - fitting of the Jubilee. But girl, did no one ever tell you never to disagree with anyone who calls you pretty! Sometimes accuracy isn't all that important, especially as we age!

Chipper said...

I am impressed that you were historically accurate. The judges probably didn't even know that :-) But we should all be the prettiest princess at least once in our lives. Have a wonderful weekend.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

What an adorable dress! I'd want to be most historically accurate as well. Much better than prettiest

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Lovely pictures. TNSSO got her royal pose perfectly. :D

Maria Ontiveros said...

I think you can be both pretty and smart! Or, in this case, pretty and historically accurate. Although, like you, I think the latter is more important than the former. Such a wonderful, heart warming story today. Thanks for sharing (and hostessing),
Rinda

Karen said...

What I love about this story is that you and your mum worked together on this project. Such a lovely way to forge those happy childhood memories that we all need when we get older.

helena said...

beautifullY (and I'm sure accurately) told as usual - and yes as a child I remember being frustrated at the prizes awarded for fancy dress - so irrelevant to the invention process

Gem's Crafts said...

A very fitting story for this weekend, and such a lovely dress that your mum made. How great that you saved it and The Not so Small One was able to wear it too!

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

What amazing dresses! I'm not surprised you were deemed the prettiest princess, but I totally understand your reaction. That shot of your little princess is perfect. I have been bemoaning the lack of Silver Jubilee photos in our house all week. As a result I still don't have a story, but I hope to by this afternoon.

Jimjams said...

Your court seamstress had some serious skill - beautifully written as ever!

Becky said...

A beautiful dress and I am sure so very accurate! I loved this story - I remember we had a hat competition at the street party I went to with my Nana, but unfortunately absolutely no photos! I will catch up with everyone elses stories tomorrow - off to get ready for our anniversary party now! Hope you have a an enjoyable weekend :) x

WendyB said...

Fantastic story telling Sian, beautiful photos and what a star your Mum was with that dress. I love the 'dark thoughts of public executions' part especially x

Jane said...

What a lovely dress, I can remember dressing my daughter up for the silver jubilee, a petticoat and wings, I hang my head in shame!

Missus Wookie said...

Gorgeous dress - my youngest sister does re-enactment costumes historically authentic, she'd seethe at the prettiest princess claim too! Tis lovely that NSSO got to wear it too and I can imagine the hat :)

Alison said...

I too can imagine the seething! So much trouble, only to be deemed 'prettiest'! Great story Sian
Alison xx

heart.hearth.home. said...

Glorious story-telling Sian. I could feel your seething angst as you sat on that bus...
Looking forward to some great reads but it may not be today. Got an appointment to see another beautiful lady sitting on a barge hoping no-one calls her pretty.

scrappyjacky said...

I can imagine that seething as well!!! Only the prettiest!!

Abi said...

Amazing dress and great story! Your reaction made me laugh. The "dressmaker" did a fantastic job I must say!

debs14 said...

That was a brilliant (and historically accurate) costume and you clearly carried it off in a regal manner! Another fantastic story.

Alana said...

Ooh, you really lived and breathed the part:D Loved the dark thoughts part on the way home in the bus:)))) A right royal story you told, great stuff. Will post mine later but up to my neck in cupcakes and coronation chicken at the moment:)

Carmen said...

Just imagining you, sitting on the bus in all your finery, seething. :D

I've said it before and I'll say it again, your Mum (and you) are SO talented!

Barbara Eads said...

I love everything about y'all! I should have been born British. I love all the pomp and circumstance. Wish I could be there right now!

Lizzie said...

Lovely story Sian! The dress(es) were triumphs and I can quite see why you were fed up about your prize!
TSO looked so lovely in the dress too!

Julie Kirk said...

Part of me was thinking 'I wonder how Sian got the Small One to pose as such a wistful princess'. Then part of me thought 'No, I think the Small One has her own innate sense of drama'. Great photos! And aren't Mum's great at just dropping everything to make costumes?

Jxx

Louise said...

I remember the silver jubilee well, street party and like you a fancy dress competition...i was dressed as a traditional welsh girl.

An amazing dress your mum made you and so nice that you saved it for tso!
A fantastic story Sian X

Wanda said...

This is a wonderful story, Sian. You have such a talent for bringing disparate events together. Three generations involved, three wearings of the dress, and all related to your country's great celebration!

Lynn said...

Another great story and made even better by the fact you kept the dress! Not sure my costume would have stood the test of time.

laurie said...

the small one is indeed a beautiful princess! i keep wanting to join in with you for storytelling sunday - hopefully, i'll get my act together soon and just do it. :-)

JulieJ said...

Now how many other Silver Jubilee stories will there be?

JulieJ said...

You certainly did have an awesome dressmaker.

Mary B said...

the dress is super very professional looking and your DD looks so cute in it.

Gail said...

Wonderful story Sian and wow - your Mum did a great job on the dress twice! I think Chipper got it right - the judges probably didn't even know it was historically accurate.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful story - it tells so much about your personality at that age. Most girls would have coveted that Prettiest prize! LOL I do believe the Small One is the prettiest because she acquired some of her looks from her mom - the most historically accurate of them all!

Jennifer Grace said...

That dress looks fabulous, I'm glad it was handed down and worn again, that shows what a great costume it is - that it stood the test of time. I wish my daughter liked dressing up more, she has too many pretty princess dresses that she's not interested in wearing. She'd much rather be playing on the computer, like mummy blogging I suppose!

I've finished my post very late tonight, as I was away this weekend, but I'll be back to read some more stories tomorrow evening. x

Jennie Hart said...

Rather than enjoying the Jubilee I am one of the retail staff desperately trying to keep things on sale for the good loyal subjects to buy :)
I have not even had more than two minutes to hug my kids, sleep and go again! I did have friday off to attend a wedding which I have a story about (I think) so hopefully I will get in there at some point this week :)

I love your story, great take on it. I'm sorry you were just seething, hopefully you now see the loveliness that people saw you as pretty too.

Ginger said...

Most excellent story Sian! I think it's fantastic you have that photo of the TNSSO and she does look every bit a princess :)

furrypig said...

I would always want to be the prince as I hated the idea of princess's being pretty and helpless and needing to be rescued! I am impressed at the dressmaking skills and how well the dress was made so it lasted for your DD! Thanks for having us all again this month xxx

Stephanie said...

Lovely, lovely! Thank you for sharing this story. Happy Jubilee!!

humel said...

The Doctor would thoroughly sypathise with you that your careful attention to historical detail was so cruelly overlooked... (Hey, I sympathise too!!)

Denise said...

Fancy ! Not being called the best historical princess - but you certainly were a pretty one ;-)

Twinkle Star said...

From one Tudor to another :) - I really enjoyed that story, thanks for sharing. xx

furrypig said...

phew 38 comments left what amazing stories a great story telling Sunday xxx

Cheri said...

I love the remake of the dress and comparing you in the original one and your daughter in the remake. Lovely!

Sandra said...

Oh yes the silver jubilee brings back happy memories :) oh Sian, only you can make me giggle over a story like that .... Have to agree why you won that award though :)

Mel said...

I think this will make a great scrapbook page. I am surprised that you were not satisfied with being the prettiest princess - when my friends and I were younger we always wanted to be the oldest, prettiest AND cleverest princess in our games!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh, Sian, I LOVE this story! AND the fantastic photos you have to go with it. It's so sweet how you told of your adventure, and then how your perspective changed when your own daughter wore the same dress. It's lovely!!! xo

PS: I'm finally linking up with my birthday story for Carrie today. :o)

Ifa said...

Sorry I missed this. Beautiful dresses. And how amazing you could pass it on to your daughter. You lucky thing!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Your story reminds me of when I made my son a costume of a Disney movie character I don't even remember the name of. He was so cute and I thought I was so creative. My brother in law said he should have won instead of the winner who was wearing a store bought costume! What we mothers do for our kids! I don't even know how to sew properly! Your mother made a masterpiece comparedd to my creation! Patsy

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