Wednesday 23 October 2013

Prince George Wears Honiton Lace to His Big Event

For 172 years from 1841, 60 royal babies were baptized in a white Spitalfields silk-satin robe flourished with delicate Honiton cotton lace overlay designed to resemble the dress Queen Victoria wore for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. Astonishing that something so fine, so fragile could survive so long in use. The designer of the original gown was the daughter of a coal-miner from Falkirk - Janet Sutherland. For this special endeavour she received the title Embroider to the Queen.

Today Prince George wore a replica of the gown at his baptism at St James's Palace and people in Honiton must be thrilled! I have been unable to find out the names of the lace-makers (does anyone know them?) but the designer was the Queen's dresser, Angela Kelly and was put together by Angela and a team of dressmakers at Buckingham Palace. When I was young, the custom was that your wedding dress was cut down to make baptismal dresses for your babies and also the top tier of the wedding cake was saved for the baptism tea. Fortunately the cake was rich fruit and hermetically sealed in a crust of almost pure sugar icing - but even so it wouldn't wait too long.....

We wish much happiness to Prince George and his family and to  another special new arrival for the family of The Sampler Guild - Baby Noah.
Click here to see more about Honiton and the dress.


  1. I had heard of keeping a tier of the cake, in fact we did, only had to be kept for eighteen months, lol, but never of using your wedding dress, my mum made my dress and would have loved to have done that. In fact, my lovely husband who was working in London at the time, went, on his own to John Lewis and bought our christening robe!

  2. How wonderful to hear this - thanks Gillie

  3. Well, if the robe is a duplicate, don't look for the lacemakers, the lace is surely mecanical.