Sunday, December 27, 2009

Diana (Our Real Princess) and Jackie (Our Leader)

Princess Diana was on my mind when I was at the beach. I kept thinking of her frolicking in the ocean in her leopard print Gottex swimsuit during what ended up being the last days of her life. It's hard to explain to the younger players how famous she was and the sheer level of her celebrity. I was in a nursery buying plants on a Sunday morning when I heard she had died in August 1997. I was so upset that the girl who worked there let me use the telephone in the office to make a call to a friend who confirmed it. I remember watching the news for hours in shock. I went to work on the Monday and just couldn't take it so I went home before lunch. When I saw that coffin draped in a flag being carried across the tarmac towards her sisters and Charles I knew it was real. I had to go to a 30th birthday party on the night of the funeral, but I got home at 1 am and rewound my video and watched the whole thing, sobbing and chain smoking inside the house. I should add that my marriage ended soon afterwards so it wasn't a good time in my life. I wanted to remember her in my own way so I had my dressmaker whip me up this Princess Diana Memorial Tribute Dress. It was a copy of a Versace number she wore to Australia to open a hospital. It no longer fits but I want to keep it. She was so deeply flawed and human. I wish she could have lived- I'd have loved to see what she wore and how she handled her 40s. And what her hair would've been like. Mr FF did his masters in London in the 80s and saw her once at a garden party. The soles of her shoes were painted to match her dress. He swears Prince Charles was tanned wearing a beautiful suit and was actually handsome. Really.

I miss Our Princess.

Here's Our Leader:

I spend a lot of time thinking about Jackie (look I've said it before and I'll say it again, this isn't a blog about World Peace ok?) We have tonnes in common:

love of big hair, dependence on hairspray, same star sign (Leo), love of the beach, love of antiques and decorating , an obsession with clothes and jewellery.I've got some copies of her jewels. I like this brooch. Hers was antique and Russian. Mine's plastic and made in China. Onassis gave her these Fabulous Van Cleef and Arpels emeralds (I would have married him too- look at the size of those gems People) . I've got the earring copies. We both love big sun glasses. She was hiding from the media. I've got to be honest- I'm just trying to minimise glare.

We both wore Fake Pearls ("Fearls")

I've got copies of her Tiffany earrings that she borrowed to wear to this pre Inauguration Ball too. And just look at the height in that hairdo. Alexandre must've used at least a whole can of lacquer.

She loved cashmere twinsets and Hermes scarves and I do too.

Is there no end to the spooky similarities between us? Apart from the fact that she was Brunette, First Lady and Married to the World's Richest Man we are Practically Twins.

Sometimes it's nice to ponder your Icons. I'm off to do the ironing and clock some couch time in front of the tv (the Glamour Never Stops).

FF x


  1. The similarities are frightening - Mr FF must take care to never visit Dallas.

    I remember the day of Diana's death very clearly also. I was the first person I know to hear of her accident. I heard a report on National radio (in NZ) which said she had been involved in a car crash. News of her death didn't come through for several hours - in fact when I first heard the news I remember thinking oh god we will be reading about her broken arm (or some such triffling injury)in Woman's Day for weeks - wasn't that awful of me? But I was v. young and there was initially no thought she had died. I went to the movies and I honestly thought they would interupt the screening if the accident developed into anything serious. I remember the sense of absolute incredulity when I left the cinema and found she had passed away. Times were certainly more naive.

    (Though I remember feeling a similar sense of shock at JKF jnr's death. The Kennedy's seem to have been touched by more than their share of tragedy.)


  2. Hi Emily
    Diana's death really affected a lot of people. I can't believe it was 12 years ago. Unless it's choc full of golf resorts it is unlikely that Mr FF will be visiting Dallas in the near future x

  3. I remember the day of her death very clearly, too.
    I'm a Londoner, and I remember the whole city being totally empty.
    Sounds crass, but I headed off to Selfridges (took me very little time to walk as there were so few people around) and bought myself a pink chiffon Miu Miu skirt. I have it still.

  4. Oh, and I should add that I met her outside the Royal Academy in about 1994. She was totally stunning

  5. I never saw her in real life! I wish I had. Mr FF said she had "factor X" and was kind of luminous. I saw her dresses as Kensington Palace in 2003 and couldn't believe how tall and thin she was.

  6. Never forget Diana. We will love her forever. I don't care what the haters say.

  7. I remember I was soooo sad when Diana died, I was at a salon and the waxer told me. No one could understand why I was so upset.
    And OMG, I didn't know Jackie was a Leo! So am I!
    This has nothing to do with your post, but since you love nail polish, and so do I, I wanted to make sure you know of the miracle that is a Quick Dry Top Coat.

  8. Have not tried Quick Dry to coat- brand?? I grew up with Diana. I watched her wedding when I was in grade 4, My mum bought me all the magazines with her in it, I loved her outfits...and she had a way of just connecting with people and she communicated so much with a gesture or a hug. I know she was flawed but I still loved her.

  9. Ok just remembered I had a paper doll cut out set of Diana and Charles wedding - including all the bridesmaids. I can assure you I cut out the wedding dress very carefully.

  10. Love that paper doll story. My sisters and I played Royal Wedding with our Barbies. I could still tell you exactly what Diana's sisters, mum, and all the royals wore...

  11. FF I'm glad you shared with us all the wonders that were these extraordinary women.
    As you well know my daughter aged 5 cried for 12 hours non stop when Princess Diana died telling me "Mummy but she was a REAL Princess."
    It remains one of her most vivid childhood memories.
    Jackie such elegance and grace. I remember as a small child seeing her image deeply in shock in her pink frock and pillbox hat. It is a vivid memory of my childhood.
    Anyhoo thanks for sharing your love of these women.
    PS The scarf looks 'killer' with the twin set. Has said scarf had many outings yet?

  12. Kate, scarf sends its love! I'm going back to Hermes tomorrow. It's had no outings yet but it will soon xx

  13. FF - I must see that Princess Diana Memorial tribute dress some time.

    You would be proud of me - I made a purchase on bluefly today - a Nicole Miller dress. Is my first ever on-line clothese purchase. That what holidays and too much time on one's hands does to you.

  14. At the time of her passing, I was 15 - and considered her the loveliest and most glamorous woman alive, after my own mother (who emulated Diana's 'do to perfection).

    I still recall that awful day vividly, we were on a family vacation down the coast. We had stopped by a roadside fruit stall. The owner of the stall had the radio on, and news broke of the accident and her subsequent death. My mother went white and dropped a box of cherries. We later watched and taped her funeral, and I remember my mother in tears for days about the stoic demeanour of her boys.

    I loved her post-Charles wardrobe, especially that azure silk one-shouldered Versace she wore to the Victor Chang benefit.

    The series shot by Mario Testino in the months prior to her death are still some of the most beautiful portraits I've ever seen.

    I came across this little story of the Princess at Christmas recently:

    As for Jackie, I have always been more of a Princess Grace devotee but I just finished reading America's Princess and thought it an excellent biography of her.

  15. FF I was living next to Kirribilli House in the 80's when Diana was staying there. We would see on the news that the motorcade was heading back and run out in our pjs to catch a glimpse. I was standing at the gates as her car pulled in and got a very close-up look and wave. She was luminous.

  16. When I was a small child I got to present Princess Diana with a bunch of flowers (my mother worked at the hospital and claims she fought tooth and nail for the privilege(. Diana was incredibly beautiful, patted my cheek and said "thank you darling". I remember we followed her around and watched her amuse the patients - one introduced himself as Charlie and she shuddered and said "Oh no, not another one!".

    Thanks for the flashback FF!

  17. Irish-well done with the bluefly. I hope you had it sent to an address where soemone will be able to sign for it, like an office or your mum's house. I get all of mine sent to Mr FF's chambers for this reason but the dowside is he knows how much I'm, buying.

    I LOVED the Vanity Fair Mario Testino shoot. Her hair was less puffy and she was looking so young. She was my age when she died which is just so sad. Her post Charles wardrobe was STUNNING all those nifty Versace suits and sleeveless shifts and those killer Catherine Walker sparkly minidresses and that Fab Lady Dior bag (which never goes on sale ).....I feel a bit teary thinking about how sad it all was for the kids when she died. Harry was pretty young and despite her faults it was obvious that she really really loved them. On the news at the time they kept showing her running along the deck of a boat to see them and hugging them and it broke all our hearts and induced immediate tears.xxxxxxxxx

  18. FF - my favourite shot of Diana is the one of her running along the deck of the boat to meet the boys - its the only photo of her that I own. I cut it out of the paper at the time and have kept it.

  19. I can tell you what all the royals wore to the wedding too. I had a scrapbook of Diana. I think I may have been in Year 4 too :P
    The great thing with quick-dry top coat is that it dries ALL the layers of nail polish, so you put on your base coat (though you don't, I know),2-3 layers of polish, and you don't need to wait for each layer to dry completely, 5 mins is enough, then you apply the topcoat and it all dries in less than 10 mins. The popular ones are Seche Vite and Poshe. You must try them out, they have made it possible for me to always have polished nails!

  20. And when I turned 36, one of my first thoughts was "Diana was this age when she died".
    Remember the envelope with Mummy on it on her casket?

  21. Thank you FF for the lovely memories of Diana and Jackie. I was Diana's biggest fan - I saw her 3 times in the 1980s but only once close up. She was a true one off. Like you I wish that she had lived so we could see what she was wearing now - she went out at the top and because she died young she will be forever young won't she?
    Like you I have some faux Jackie jewels - such fun!!

  22. Hi Scarf Addict,
    I love those Faux Jackie Jewels! I miss Diana so much-I think being at the beach is what's really done it. I do not believe she would have married Dodi but I think if she'd lived by now she definitely would have remarried or repartnered.I wish I'd seen her in real life. Mr FF said she was absolutely divine. xx

  23. I blame myself for Diana's death - a couple of months beforehand I remember saying "She has to die soon, she is too perfect to make old bones, she'll go out like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean". All my fault.

    Where do you get faux Jackie jewels? They are brilliant!

  24. Hi Foody I got some from TVSN (home shopping channel on foxtel) and some from a website called Generous Gems in the USA. They are much cheaper from the USA.

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