This is “Baby Grande,” said to be a child star of the London stage, but more likely a rather shop-soiled “child impersonator,” of which the ranks of the Halls were rife. She took a prize at a fancy dress contest for her costume as “The Royal Fan.” It was a decided novelty, but perhaps not the most effective garb if one wishes to dance.
Wedding fans were a great tradition in the royal family. Queen Mary had over 500 fans in her personal collection, a great many of which were wedding gifts. (Others, no doubt, came to her via her patented technique of pointed admiration, followed up by a courtier’s visit to collect the coveted object.)
The photo above shows what appears to be the fan in question, although it has not been found in the lists of the Princess Royal’s wedding gifts. It bears a strong resemblance to Her current Majesty’s coronation fan. The guards appear to be tortoise-shell set with a monogram in diamonds.
The whimsy, one fears, stopped with the young person’s feathered fan costume.
Mary, the Princess Royal, lived a very sheltered life, trammeled by the restrictions of her mother, Queen Mary. According to what one hears, her brother, the Prince of Wales, was furious that his sister was being forced into an “arranged marriage” with a dour man 14 years her senior. While the papers made it out to be a love match, one account suggested that Lascelles proposed to the Princess on a bet from members of his club.
The marriage was not a happy one. The Prince of Wales promised his sister he would see that she was released from her marital shackles when he came to the throne. Alas, when he became entangled with that American woman, he could no longer help her. The Princess was not freed until 1947, when her husband died.
Mrs Daffodil wishes a quicker release for any of her readers burdened with an uncongenial spouse, but cautions that modern tests for arsenic and the alkaloid poisons are highly accurate and stand up well in court. Mrs Daffodil also suggests that the unhappily yoked consult a solicitor for results that do not involve assisting the Police with their inquiries.
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes
You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.