Queen Elizabeth II: Dressmaker ‘so lucky” to land dream job
A former dressmaker to the Queen has recalled her “30 fantastic years” making outfits for the monarch.
Maureen Rose, from Ringwood in Hampshire, had dreamed of becoming a seamstress aged 10 after seeing the Queen in her wedding dress.
She went on to work for the designer Sir Norman Hartnell which later led to her first visit to Buckingham Palace.
The 85-year-old said: “I don’t know how I walked to the room, my knees were all a wobble – I was so nervous.”
“I couldn’t sleep for days beforehand, I thought I’m going to stick pins in or do something dreadful or trip over…,” Mrs Rose told the BBC.
The Queen had been given “fabrics by the King of Thailand – she wanted four long evening skirts and blouses made out of them”.
“They were the first separates the Queen had – she had them made to go out to dinner,” she added.
Dress fittings at the palace always followed a familiar pattern with up to nine dogs joining in.
Mrs Rose said the Queen would “always go round the floor with a magnet in case we’d left any pins on the floor – because she didn’t want them getting in the dog’s feet”.
After working for Ian Thomas, another of the Queen’s dress designers, Mrs Rose went on to work independently based in a small workshop near the New Forest.
She achieved a Royal Warrant in 1999, the 47th year of reign and created her own designs for the Queen.
Mrs Rose said: “You forgot that she was actually the Queen when you were speaking to her she was so easy to speak to.
“When you’d finished a set of outfits for her she would put one on and have a really serious ‘Queen face’ on.
“Then all of a sudden she would look across and absolutely beam – the room would light up with her smile and she would say ‘I’m going to enjoy wearing this a lot because it is so comfortable thank you very, very much for all your hard work.
“To have the Queen say something like that to you stays with you forever.”
Mrs Rose, who retired in 2003, said her life’s work had been a dream come true.
“Thirty fantastic years – I can’t think how lucky I’ve been to be that little girl deciding what I wanted to do and to be so lucky for it to happen,” she said.