Gown worn by William and Kate’s three babies for christening was dyed in Yorkshire Tea, reveals Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly
- Gown worn by Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis dyed in tea
- Dressmaker Angela Kelly travelled to Italy to find lace before making the gown
- Replica christening gown commissioned by Queen Victoria for eldest daughter
- Lace was placed in bowl filled with water and a tea bag and left for five minutes
Prince George in the royal christening gown at Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace in 2013
She tells of the unusual lengths she went to as she tried to ensure that the silk and lace garment – a replica of the royal christening gown commissioned by Queen Victoria for her eldest daughter in 1841 – was just the right colour.
She had to first travel to Italy to find the lace before returning to England to make the garment. She said: ‘To make sure it looked authentic we dyed it in Yorkshire Tea (the strongest, as we all know).
‘We placed each piece of lace in a small bowl from the dressers’ kitchen, filled with cool water and a tea bag and left it for about five minutes, checking regularly until the colour was perfect.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte for the christening of Prince Louis at Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London, last year
The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte in the christening gown at the Church of St Mary Magdalene
Mrs Kelly, who was assisted on the project by dressmaker Barbara Buckfield, said the Queen was shown each stage of the process of making the gown, and was ‘very interested’ to see how it took shape as the sleeves and then the skirt with the under-layers on were attached.
The replica gown took about nine months to complete. It was first used for the christening of James, Viscount Severn – Prince Edward’s youngest child – in 2008 and was worn most recently by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie in July.
The original, made by Janet Sutherland, was made of Spitalfields silk and Honiton lace. It was worn by 62 royal babies including the then Princess Elizabeth at her christening held at Buckingham Palace in May 1926. The Queen commissioned a replica of the original in 2004 after reportedly deeming the original too fragile for further use.