I know that it seems a little strange that I shouldn’t be obsessing over something in the Thanksgiving vein, but the recent news of the engagement of England’s Prince William and Kate Middelton has trumped obsessing over my favorite Turkey Day foods, although I am sure I’ll be singing a different tune later this week. Prince William and Kate’s engagement has me being a little nostalgic this week, as I remember Princess Diana’s engagement when I was little and how it affected my young life.
I’ve been obsessed with England and the British monarchy for as long as I can remember. The first concrete memory I have of this preoccupation would be the engagement of Prince Charles and then Lady Diana Spencer. I was only six years old at the time, but I remember seeing coverage on the news and then looking through every possible magazine my mother owned for months to see pictures of the couple. At that age, what’s not to love about this story? A handsome prince, a beautiful princess-to-be, a gorgeous ring (which started my obsession over colored stones), castles, crowns and England! At age six, I still believed in fairy tales and watching their courtship and pending wedding was better than any story I could have imagined.
I was very lucky to actually watch the royal wedding live, and those iconic images of Diana emerging from the coach, with that giant train behind her was something I obsessed about for the rest of my childhood. I wanted a tiara, a giant bouquet and an equally long train when I got married, who cares if it stuck out of the church, or that most companies didn’t manufacture anything close to a 25-foot train? Those are details the mind of a six year old just doesn’t process. Thankfully, styles and and trends in wedding wear have changed, and I no longer have a train obsession.
Watching Diana, I developed a great love for clutches and hats and a eye catching evening wear. And, since we’re talking about England here, I also watched her coat selection with great attention. Those first impressions of basics are still with me today, although I don’t wear hats since they don’t sit (or fit) so well on my head. My wild imagination also produced a dress-up character that I called “Lady Jennifer” (clearly, all the creativity went into the clothing) who would appear at tea time and speak in the best English accent I could imagine at that age. I also tried to copy her “Shy Di” poses for the camera, which resulted in some very comical (and embarrassing) photos of me with my family. Thankfully, I grew out of that phase!
Many of the things that I obsessed about over Princess Diana have changed and adapted as I’ve grown and developed my own sense of style. Since I don’t need to dress the role of a Princess, my clothing choices are obviously quite different, but tailored outerwear, clutches, how accessories can give you confidence (Princess Diana said that hats give her confidence) and an eye for how clothing looks in pictures are all traceable to being a six year old obsessed with a Princess who was larger than life. Since the clothing industry and access to it has changed quite a bit over the last three decades, I can’t wait to see how Kate Middleton’s style affects my nieces and impressionable girls everywhere, and the choices they make as a result of her influence.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Layout by: Michelle
- My Latest Obsession: The Royal Wedding Part I
- Women Who Made History: Princess Diana
- My Latest Obsession: London
- Wonder Woman Trailer!
- Bittersweets Vampress