The Pink Lady

0 Posted by - December 4, 2012 - Diary

I visited the Hartnell To Amies: Couture By Royal Appointment exhibition recently at the Fashion & Textile Museum London (blog coming soon) and spotted a bedazzled pink dress which could only have been worn by one woman: Barbara Cartland.

I remember seeing her on the television when I was young dictating her romantic novels from a pink chaise lounge to her secretary, who also wore pink.

I didn’t know much about her life until now. Living through two World Wars, of which she was a Chief Lady Welfare Officer. Barbara had the idea of gathering as many wedding dresses as possible for hire so that service brides would have a white dress to wear on their wedding day.

From campaigning for the rights of gypsies in the sixties and fighting for better conditions and salaries for midwives and nurses to devising and creating the first aeroplane-towed glider airmail with two RAF officers and selling 1,000 million of her own books, this woman has lived a life and then some. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

A Barbara Cartland website is run by her family featuring all of her work – published and unpublished – a chronology of her life and a photo gallery.

Her clothes were autioned at Sotheby’s in 2001.

All images from