Princess Margaret’s Iconic Birthday Gown Is Going On Display
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, along with Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, may be all the rage today, but it wasn’t so long ago that there was another reigning “cool” royal. Her name was Princess Margaret. And right now is the time to celebrate her highly fashionable life, too.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Margaret, here’s a little history lesson for you: Princess Margaret Rose Windsor is Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. She was beloved by the public, much like Harry is today, for being the rebellious and outspoken younger member of the royal family.
As HistoryExtra reported, Margaret was well-known for her party girl antics along with her torrid affair with Peter Townsend. Of course, she was also well-known for looking ridiculously glamorous at every event she attended (with or without Townsend) as well.
Now, visitors to London will have the chance to get up-close and personal with one of Margaret’s most famous party dresses: Her 21st birthday gown created by Dior.
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Beginning in February, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will showcase the new exhibit, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. The exhibit, Harper’s Bazarre explained, features more than 500 objects as part of the largest exhibit ever on the designer. One of those objects happens to be Margaret’s birthday gown from 1951.
The gown, currently on loan from the Museum of London, is an off-the-shoulder stunner that came with beads, pearls, sequins, and raffia embroidery throughout.
“This was a very modern choice in 1951 for a very modern princess,” Oriole Cullen, a co-curator of the show, shared with Art Newspaper. “The use of synthetic materials allowed colors and effects you couldn’t get otherwise, and there was a bit of a thing for raffia in the 1950s, but it was a bold choice for a couture gown for such an important occasion.”
Beyond the dress itself a large portrait of Margaret in the dress is also on display. The photo was taken by Cecil Beaton as the princess’s official birthday portrait. It’s an excellent choice for the Dior display as Margaret once called the gown, "my favourite dress of all.”
Check out the display now through July 14, 2019.