Norman Hartnell

From Academic Kids

Norman Hartnell (1901 - 1979) was a British fashion designer appointed dressmaker to the British Royal Family in 1938.


Life and Career

He opened his own business in 1923 and became known for his elaborate and intricately decorated gowns. Hartnell designed the dresses worn by Queen Elizabeth II on her marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, and her coronation in 1953. He also designed dresses for Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Queen Mary.

The dress designed for the Queen's wedding contained 10,000 seed pearls and many thousands of white crystal beads. For its display in 2003 for the anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, 10 restorers worked on it. In the embroidery, various symbols for different countries of the Commonwealth can be seen, such as the Scottish thistle, Australian wattle, the maple leaf of Canada and the pearly lotus flower for India.

Hartnell never married, and instead moved in theatrical circles, counting famed photographer Cecil Beaton and socialite Bunny Roger as close friends. His autobiography, released in 1955, was entitled Silver and Gold.


External Links

  • Norman Hartnell (http://www.normanhartnell.com/) - Norman Hartnell website
  • IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0367152/) - Norman Hartnell's filmography as a costume designer
  • Fashion Era (http://www.fashion-era.com/the_queens_robes.htm) - Information and images of Queen Elizabeth II's 1947 wedding dress
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