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Queen’s Fairytale World War II Pantomime Dress

Of course! Costumes worn by the Queen and Princess Margaret as teenagers in pantomimes are on display for the first time at Windsor Castle

  • Costumes made for a teenage Queen Elizabeth are exhibited for the first time
  • Then Princess Elizabeth, 18, wore a pink satin and lace pantomime dress
  • Jackets worn by Margaret in Old Mother Red Riding Boots will also be shown
  • On display at Windsor Castle from November 25 to January 31


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Costumes created for a teenage princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret as they take the stage in an old mother pantomime wearing red riding boots are on display for the first time.

A young Elizabeth, now the Queen, wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood for the World War II production when she was 18.

She also wore a chintz shirt, slacks and sun hat for a coastal scene, in which Margaret wore a blue taffeta dress with cream lace bloomers to play The Honorable Lucinda Fairfax.

The carefully preserved outfits will be on public display for the first time from November 25 to January 31 as part of a special Christmas show at Windsor Castle in Berkshire’s royal residence.

Costumes made for a teenage princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret as they take the stage in an Old Mother Red Riding Boots pantomime are on display for the first time (pictured, the sisters in a performance of Aladdin)

Costumes made for a teenage princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret as they take the stage in an Old Mother Red Riding Boots pantomime are on display for the first time (pictured, the sisters in a performance of Aladdin)

A young Elizabeth, now the Queen, wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood for the World War II production when she was 18

A young Elizabeth, now the Queen, wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood for the World War II production when she was 18

A young Elizabeth, now the Queen, wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood for the World War II production when she was 18

The garments are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, which have been previously exhibited

The garments are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, which have been previously exhibited

The garments are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, which have been previously exhibited

The garments are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, which have been previously exhibited

The items of clothing are shown next to the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, previously showcased (left, the dress worn by Margaret and right, the jacket worn by the Queen)

The carefully preserved outfits will be on display for the first time as part of a special Christmas show at Windsor Castle

The carefully preserved outfits will be on display for the first time as part of a special Christmas show at Windsor Castle

The carefully preserved outfits will be on display for the first time as part of a special Christmas show at Windsor Castle

They are shown alongside the outfits the princesses wore for their wartime Aladdin pantomime, which have been previously exhibited.

The royal siblings were deeply involved in every aspect of the arrangements for Old Mother Red Riding Boots, performing with children from the Windsor Castle community and the Royal Windsor School.

The specially created show combined elements of a number of different pantomimes and fairy tales, and was written and produced by Hubert Tanner, the school’s principal.

It was performed three times in December 1944, and tickets were made available for each performance to an audience of between 300 and 600 people.

Meanwhile, the Queen also wore this chintz-coordinated jacket and bloomers during a seaside scene in the play

Meanwhile, the Queen also wore this chintz-coordinated jacket and bloomers during a seaside scene in the play

Meanwhile, the Queen also wore this chintz-coordinated jacket and bloomers during a seaside scene in the play

The blue taffeta dress covered in cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon.  Lucinda Fairfax

The blue taffeta dress covered in cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon.  Lucinda Fairfax

The blue taffeta dress covered in cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon.  Lucinda Fairfax

The blue taffeta dress covered in cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon.  Lucinda Fairfax

The blue taffeta dress covered in cream lace and matching cream lace bloomers worn by Princess Margaret to play The Hon. Lucinda Fairfax

Meanwhile, this Christmas, a hat will also be worn by the Queen in an Aladdin performance in Windsor

Meanwhile, this Christmas, a hat will also be worn by the Queen in an Aladdin performance in Windsor

Meanwhile, this Christmas, a hat will also be worn by the Queen in an Aladdin performance in Windsor

Special discounted seats were offered to members of the armed forces and dress rehearsals were attended by employees of the Ministry of Works and Planning who assisted in the technical arrangements for each production.

The princesses’ parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and other members of the royal family attended each pantomime.

All proceeds from the productions were donated to the Royal Household Wool Fund to provide wool for making quilts for soldiers fighting at the front.

The costumes are on display in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago

The costumes are on display in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago

The costumes are on display in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago

Both princesses wore this costume during their performance of Aladdin in 1943

Both princesses wore this costume during their performance of Aladdin in 1943

Both princesses wore this costume during their performance of Aladdin in 1943

Both princesses wore this costume during their performance of Aladdin in 1943

Both princesses wore these costumes (left and right) during their performance of Aladdin in 1943

The striking red and gold embroidered tunic worn by their fellow cast member to play 'The King' will also be on display (pictured)

The striking red and gold embroidered tunic worn by their fellow cast member to play 'The King' will also be on display (pictured)

The striking red and gold embroidered tunic worn by their fellow cast member to play ‘The King’ will also be on display (pictured)

The couturier of the surviving costumes is unknown, but many of the costumes worn in the royal pantomimes between 1941 and 1944 were supplied by two theater costume firms, H&M Rayne and L&H Nathan.

The princesses also wore some of their own clothing for certain scenes, including day and evening ensembles created by British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell.

The costumes are on display in Windsor Castle’s Waterloo Chamber, where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago.

Also on display are the 16 large-scale and colorful images of fairytale characters that were pasted around the walls at the time to decorate the space

Also on display are the 16 large-scale and colorful images of fairytale characters that were pasted around the walls at the time to decorate the space

Also on display are the 16 large-scale and colorful images of fairytale characters that were pasted around the walls at the time to decorate the space

Also on display are the 16 large-scale and colorful images of fairytale characters that were pasted around the walls at the time to decorate the space.

Christmas decorations will also transform the State Apartments in Windsor Castle, along with a 20-foot-tall tree in St George’s Hall.

Christmas at Windsor Castle is from November 25 to January 3, 2022. The Princesses’ Pantomimes display is from November 25 to January 31, 2022.

Christmas at Windsor Castle is from November 25 to January 3, 2022. The Princesses' Pantomimes display is from November 25 to January 31, 2022

Christmas at Windsor Castle is from November 25 to January 3, 2022. The Princesses' Pantomimes display is from November 25 to January 31, 2022

Christmas at Windsor Castle is from November 25 to January 3, 2022. The Princesses’ Pantomimes display is from November 25 to January 31, 2022

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