Royal UFO

At the moment there’s an exhibition celebrating the Queen’s Coronation showing in the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. It’s been curated by the Royal Collection Trust and includes dresses, robes and uniforms. Here’s a link

So it’s just the right moment to share a delightful story with you about a UFO (unfinished object) celebrating the Queen’s Coronation.

In 1952 one of our Guild members, Annette H, was a young teenager and her great aunt who was also her godmother gave her a tray cloth to embroider. Not just any tray cloth but one to celebrate the Queen’s Coronation the next year.

Annette remembers that her great aunt was part of a large, lively family and that all of them were talented artists, artisans and stitchers. She was also very much a royalist and decorated the family home’s front windows with a flower display in red, white and blue for the Queen’s visit to Katoomba (part of the Queen’s first visit to Australia in 1954).

To encourage her Annette’s mother crocheted the edging around the tray cloth before she started the embroidery.

The tray cloth was started but became a UFO not long afterwards.

Then last year the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations were in the news and Annette remembered her UFO………and that’s how it came to be finished 60 years after she started it!……….and here’s what it looks like finished:

Coronation Tray Cloth by Annette Horvath

What’s even more amazing is that she used the same needle she was given in 1952 to finish the embroidery in 2012.

Needle detail of Coronation tray cloth by Annette Horvath

Annette thinks the tray cloth was a Semco design but can’t be absolutely sure as all the labels have been lost. Here’s a detail:

Detail of Coronation tray cloth by Annette Horvath

What makes this story so memorable is how a love of stitching and craft is shared across generations in a family through a very special textile.

It’s a reminder of how important and precious textiles are in adding richness and depth to memories and family history.

What do you think? Do you have a treasured textile in your family?

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One Response to Royal UFO

  1. Jillian Bath says:

    I linked to the Queens Coronation site – thank you for that – who could forget that wonderful coronation dress and also the so pretty dress that Princess Anne wore – I have never seen a close up of it before. I remember – must have been in 1953 when I would have been 10 years old – spending a full 10 shillings on a miniature model of the gold coach and horses – 10 shillings in 1953 was a lot of money and I did not ever have much money in those days – I think my Aunt was with me when I bought it and she might have added to the funds – I really treasured that ornament for many years – it stayed on the mantle piece at my parents home for years – I wish I knew what happened to it eventually.