Royal Women exhibition at the Fashion Museum Bath

by | Feb 16, 2018 | Royal Travel Guide, Royalty in Entertainment

This museum in the beautiful city of Bath has a long-term exhibition that is a must-see for anyone interested in fashion, history and royalty. Titled Royal Women, it explores how the clothes of five generations of royal women reflect not only their times, but also their status within the royal family.

When asked to choose her favourite outfit Rosemary Harden, the museum’s manager, hesitated—”I love them all, for different reasons”—before deciding on Queen Alexandra’s wedding dress. “It dates from 1862 and it sparkles every time it catches the light. Just beautiful,” she explains. The gown, subsequently altered into an evening dress, is on loan from the Royal Collection, which provided other outfits in the exhibition.

EXHIBIT ON UNTIL: April 28, 2019

THE FIVE ROYAL WOMEN

Queen Alexandra (1844-1925): The consort of King Edward VII abandoned the fussy tailoring of her mother-in-law, Queen Victoria, for figuring-hugging clothes, while her fondness of chokers (to hide a childhood scar on her neck) spawned a new jewellery craze.

Queen Mary (1867-1953): The fashion taste of the consort of King George V froze in time just before the First World War. Her long dresses and ornately-decorated gowns showed off her statuesque figure.

Queen Mary (1867-1953): The fashion taste of the consort of King George V froze in time just before the First World War. Her long dresses and ornately-decorated gowns showed off her statuesque figure.

Princess Margaret (1930-2002): The only sister of Queen Elizabeth II was glamorous, beautiful and vivacious, and those qualities showed up in her appreciation of fashion. The wasp-waist designs of Christian Dior’s New Look suited her perfectly, as did the elaborate evening wear of Norman Hartnell.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (1965- ): Wife of Prince Edward and daughter-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, Sophie is a full-time royal woman far enough away from the throne to indulge in an increasingly adventurious taste for fashion. She often pairs formal dresses and coats with elaborately designed hats.

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don’t miss…

in the exhibition

“Make sure that you see the dresses from the 1950s worn by Princess Margaret,” museum manager Rosemary Harden advises. “She was so chic and so elegant; and these four dresses, one by Dior, two by Hartnell (both fashion greats), really underline this, and how the princess used cutting edge fashion to fulfil her royal role.”

travel Guide exhibition Royal Women Fashion Museum Bath Queen Alexandra

don’t miss…

in the museum

Check out A History of Fashion in 100 Objects which showcases the highlights of the museum’s collection. A snapshot of 400 years of fashion, it includes everything from filmy silk dresses from the Jane Austen era to practical Nike Air shoes worn today.

Exhibit on until: January 1, 2019

VISITING

How to get there: The Fashion Museum is located in the the heart of Bath in its magnificent Assembly Rooms. There are frequent buses and trains to Bath. From each station, the museum is a 20-minute walk.

Hours: Nov-Feb: 10:30 am to 4 pm (exit by 5 pm), Mar-Oct: 10:30 am to 5 pm (exit by 6 pm)

Tickets: Adult: £9, Children 6-16: £7, Family and concession options available (The museum ticket includes access to Royal Women)

How to buy tickets: Online or at the museum

Food and drink: Assembly Rooms Café (drinks, sandwiches, cakes)

Gift shop: Gifts, books, 18th-century-inspired products (publicly accessible without paid entry)

Time allotted: 2-3 hours

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travel guide exhibition royal women fashion museum bath Queen Mary