historic london

There’s over 300 languages spoken in London

Less than half of the population is white british

There are large areas with little to no white population

so if your show is set in London and has an all white cast you’re not even being remotely accurate

10th February 1840 - Queen Victoria's Wedding Dress

As many people know, it is said that Victoria started the trend of wearing a white coloured dress on your wedding day. However, not many know  how complicated the journey was that had it come to be.

In the early of planning her wedding, Lord Melbourne suggested that she might wear her royal robes of state, as she mentions in her diary -


They talked about me wearing my robes, but I thought not.


She made it clear that her wedding was not like others of the time, where it was all for advancement and gain, with no thought of romantic preference. Her wedding was a personal affair; she was marrying for love.

In the end, Victoria would design her own dress, as well as her bridesmaids’ dresses. She had her dress made entirely of British materials, as was well publicised at the time. This was a political move, as she was showing to foreign powers just what her country had to offer and that she was still representing Britain.  The silk was woven in Spitalfields, East London and the lace was handmade in Devon.  Finally, the outfit was sewed together by Victoria’s own dressmaker, a Mrs Bettans, with the pattern being destroyed afterwards to prevent the dress being replicated.

The finished garment would include a bodice, the waist pointed over a full, pleated skirt with full puffed sleeves and a round neck, all made of Spitalfields white silk satin. The train was immense, measuring 18 feet and edged with orange blossom spays (orange blossom being a symbol of fertility). Orange blossom would feature a lot on her person, as her wreath above her veil (which was 12 feet long) was made of it and it trimmed her dress.  She also wore matching satin shoes (see two above), and a blue sapphire brooch at her breast which was a wedding gift from Albert. In her diary, on her wedding day of the tenth of February 1840, she described her whole outfit as thus -


I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish diamond necklace & earrings & dear Albert’s beautiful sapphire brooch


Victoria did not wear her actual wedding dress for the whole day, as when she returned to Buckingham Palace after the service and wedding breakfast she withdrew to change into ‘a white silk gown trimmed with swansdown and a white bonnet with orange flowers’, an outfit very similar to her original ensemble.
Years later, Victoria would allow her favourite daughter Beatrice (who would be one of the queens few close companions in her widowhood) to wear her wedding veil at her own wedding in 1885 (see photograph below). She would be the only daughter of Victoria allowed this special privilege. In addition later still, Victoria would be buried wearing her lace veil, in 1901

Featured Image Emily Blunt as Victoria on her wedding day, The Young Victoria 2009
Sources -
Becoming Queen, Kate Williams
Historic Royal Places
Photograph #3 by Daily Mail

2

A Robe a la Française from the Museum of London. At first glance I thought it was maybe a costume from the movie “Dangerous Liaisons”, using a green version of the Wishing fabric. But this is an extant 1770s creation showing the type of fabrics the Wishing one was inspired by.

From https://instagram.com/p/BTEWKm7AbIt/

10

These Islands - A Portrait of the British Isles 

These Islands published by Cereal takes the reader on a journey across the landscape, both natural and urban, that forms the British Isles, through powerful imagery, prose and poetry.

Explore the peaks of Snowdonia, the shadows of Glen Coe, the rural idylls of the Lake District, and the windswept paths of the Wild Atlantic Way. Walk the historic streets of London, trace the elegant curves of Bath, and climb the gothic spires of Edinburgh. Cross to the Isle of Skye in the north, and sail to the Isles of Scilly in the south.

6

Coronation robes for a Viscount and Viscountess, first half 20th century

Worn by Edward Knollys (who was Governor General of Bermuda during the second World War) and his wife Margaret née Coats. Both sets were worn to the 1952 coronation, but the Viscount’s robe could be earlier and worn at the 1911 and 1937 coronations.

Peter Jones cotton velvet kirtle with silver brocade waist-strap with detachable train, white fur trim; the Peer’s robe by Northam of silk velvet and ermine, lined in taffeta; with two matching plated coronets.