Designer opens up about working with the royal family

Many women could only dream of wearing some of the outfits worn by members of the royal family. From Princess
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Fergie, the Duchess of York, and Princess Diana were among the royals dressed by designer David Sassoon. Source: YouTube

Many women could only dream of wearing some of the outfits worn by members of the royal family.

From Princess Diana to Princess Margaret and Fergie, the Duchess of York, the royals have been well regarded style icons.

But have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the designer working with the royals>

Well, one designer is sharing his stories about working with the royals.

David Sassoon, who designed more than 70 outfits for Princess Diana, has opened up about being behind-the-scenes with the royal family.

He’s telling his stories ahead of the opening of a fashion exhibition in Diana’s honour – Diana: Her Fashion Story.

Speaking in a Daily Mail article, Sassoon described Diana as “a joy to dress”.

“She could wear any colour and look wonderful,” he said.

“Some of the royal ladies could be difficult but Diana would always send little thank-you notes or twirl around saying, “They’re going to love this!” She really was a delight.”

He struck up a friendship with Diana, and saw her away from the public eye.

‘She was always asking, “What have you been doing, what have you seen?” She knew I loved the ballet and so did she. There were times when I’d be quite fraught and she’d pat the sofa beside her and say, “Now, what’s the problem? Sit down and have a cup of tea.” ” he said.

“She was good at listening to your woes but she rarely opened up about her own. The only time I saw her cry was the week before the wedding, when everything got on top of her.

“It was the final fitting for the going-away outfit and she was very tearful and panicking because she’d forgotten to get a bag. I told her not to worry and had a little pochette made in the same material. There was a tiny compartment for a mirror and I added a little card saying, “Lots of happiness on your great day.” She told me that when she got off the train on the way to her honeymoon her hair got blown in the wind, so she took out her mirror and the card fell out. She was very touched by it.”

It sounds like Diana as we all imagined she would be.

But what about other members of the royal family?

Well, Princess Margaret was among the members of the royal family Sassoon dressed.

He described her as a character.

“She was a character and her mood could change for no reason at all,” he said.

“She could be the very royal ma’am one day, then she’d be familiar with you, but if you tried to be familiar back she didn’t like it.”

Sassoon also dressed Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

He said she was “great fun” but she “wouldn’t listen.”

“I’d say, “Oh, come on, ma’am, that skirt’s too short for you,” and it would be, “No, I like it like this”,” he said.

“Diana would listen but Sarah never did. She’d come in one week and have lost weight then the next she’d have put it on again, so we were forever taking things in then letting them out.”

And he shared a hilarious story about the first time he met the Queen.

It was during a fitting for a bridesmaid’s dress for Princess Anne.

“Then the Queen appeared. In those days you had to walk backwards in the presence of royalty, so I took a step back to make a bow and my foot went into one of the corgis’ bowls, which was full of water that splashed all over my shoes,” he said.

“The Queen pulled a cord by the side of the fireplace and up came a liveried page to wipe my shoes. The funny thing was the bridesmaid’s dress was a beautiful white organdie and the Queen’s only concern was whether it would wash.”

The stories he could tell would be amazing!

Are you a royal watcher? What do you think of David Sassoon’s stories?

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