Saturday, 20 August 2016

Royal Yacht Brittania

I recently had an email from a lovely lady who is working on the Netflix production of The Crown.
As my mother designed the embroidery which hangs above the Queens bed on the Royal Yacht Britannia back in 1953, they have asked for permission to use the design in the film, and plan to make a replica. I actually have the original watercolour she did, I knew it was somewhere safe ... but the trouble with putting something away in a safe place means it then gets muddled in the brain filing cabinet ... so ensued a turning upside down of all the archiving of my mothers extensive works I have been doing, and of course it was not where it should have been! So it meant an upturning of almost the whole cottage ... But I now have a very organised studio ... but this morning I suddenly remembered where it was, went straight to the right drawer and there it was ...

Watercolour of the design for the embroidered panel which hangs above the Queen's bed

Though she was commissioned to do the design, it was then given to the Royal School of Needlework to embroider, very finely in silks.

Quoted from here
"The silk embroidered panels were designed and created in 1953 and were the inspiration of Joan Nicholson, a young British designer, chosen by Sir Hugh Casson (HM The Queen’s chosen designer for Britannia’sState Apartments)."

Detail of side panel
Detail of side panel
Quoted from here  "The Queen wanted the embroidery to remind her of home when she was traveling abroad, with hedgerows, wild flowers and butterflies. Ivory silk from France was chosen for the background and it took several skilled workers many months to complete at the Royal School of Needlework in London. "

I am very proud of her ... a young mother with two small children, I was not around but so glad I still have this precious document, though very delicate and fragile and somewhat faded. It will now be filed in the correct place! Look out for The Crown when it is out (not sure when)

Detail of side panelDetail of side panel


Centre of circular panel
Centre of circular panel

Central panel detail
Central panel detail


The embroidery in situ
The embroidery in situ

The embroidery in situ
The embroidery in situ

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful and so feminine :)

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  2. Oh ! That is SO pretty ! I have never seen this , thankyou for sharing these photos of your mother's beautiful designs :)

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  3. Oh Nancy what a wonderful heritage you have from your incredibly talented mother. Obviously her talent was passed to you too. Are you still living in the cottage? Last time I spoke to you, you were trying to sell it.

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  4. Nancy, I just discovered your work while looking for fresh hand embroidery designs, and I was delighted with this post--it made me cry. Imagine the pride and sense of history you must feel.

    I saw Britannia in Montreal when the Queen came to Expo 67, and I was so sad that it had to be decommissioned.

    I have many books on needlework and embroidery history, but I've never seen any mention of your Mother's work. This is wonderful to read about her.

    Thomasina Beck mentions a Marqaret Nicholson as designing and doing part of the embroidery on the book cover for The Embroiderer's Flowers book by Beck in 1992--is she any relation to you?

    Don't you wish there were more embroidery history books? Maybe you could write one on your Mum? I see you have a nice book coming out in September, I shall buy it--I love your bird designs.

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  5. Mind blowing Embroidery Digitizing Work and I really appreciate it for sharing :)

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