The Queen Mother's Bedspread
Sometimes in life you're at the right place at the right time. This happened to me In 1999 when I was at Glamis Castle in Scotland viewing the needlework in The Queen Mother's apartments.
On the marriage of her 9th daughter Elizabeth (shown above in a white dress and ribbons in her hair) to the then Duke of York (the future King George VI), as their wedding present Elizabeth's mother Cecilia Countess of Strathmore gave a set of apartments in Glamis Castle and a set of very special bed hangings including an embroidered bed cover.
The Strathmore family have long supported the union of Scotland and England, and an ancestor was a trusted supporter of King Janes VI of Scotland when he took the English crown after the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. So her choice of motif comes at no surprise.
The bed cover was sadly lost many years ago and a charming but unremarkable patchwork cover lay in its place (shown below in HRH The Queen Mother's bedchamber). My then partner Harry and I were visiting the house and proposed a project to replicate the cover in order to restore the bed to its former glory. I had started my business only a few years earlier so it was a daunting idea for me but no sooner had it been aired than it had been given affirmative approval and it was a plan in action. All I had was the original bedhead and photos of the cover to go on so it was no small challenge, but it was one that I accepted it with great honour.
It took 2 years to complete the bedspread and the finished work was given by The Strathmore Family and the Glamis Estate to HRH The Queen Mother when she reached the wonderful age of 100 in August 2001.
Although the full Queen Mother's Bedspread is not available as a kit, our Glamis Crown Rose & Thistle design depicts the central motif shown prominently on the bedhead.
Below: Laura, aged 16, putting stitches in the Bedspread
Thomas E. Shaw-Gardner —
What a honor and how fabulous to re-create something from history like this bedspread! I so do wish I could join you on your adventures over there; however, living on the other side of the ‘Big Pond’ in the USA, it’s difficult to arrange that. Keep up the great work!!