VE Day-It’s All Over; All quiet until 9 pm and then the London crowds go mad in the West End.’ Yellowing copies of the Daily Mail that splashed this header have been well archived, for national nostalgia. The day the men of the Reich fell wreathless, into funeral music and the spread of the Nazi germ had been arrested in its flesh, was a day of celebration for Englishmen.
Awakened from the darkness of war, Britain broke out onto streets, pubs and public parks, performing victory waltzes around bonfires. Central government buildings were floodlit, as was the Big Ben. Julian Jarrod’s A Royal Night Out chronicles the story of princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon), and Margaret (Bel Powley), as they released their spoilt fingers from fair gloves, unscrewed the tiaras and slipped out of silk gowns sweetened with brocade flowers, to feel their own kind of freedom. If nothing else, the movie is all set to score on attention to detail. Austrian assembler of sparkle, Swarovski has dressed up the cast and crew in brooches, belt buckles, necklaces, bracelets, earrings symbolic of whatever was still shining in the edgy, war-torn 40s.
With the help of wardrobe designer Claire Anderson, the team thought up replica items. This featured five pearl necklaces with vintage clasps created using Swarovski crystal pearls, 20 pearl earrings, a copy of the Queen’s extraordinary sapphire engagement ring, and a recreation of Princess Margaret’s victory ‘V’ brooch that was worn by her as she stood on the Buckingham Palace’s balcony, gazing and waving at the crowds below. The necklace by Austrian label Reinard Seufert that has a string of sea-green diamonds trapped between crystalline white ones. The Queen (Emily Watson), wears a densely engraved 1946 brooch from American brand Eisenberg & Sons.
In 2013, Swarovski helped Downtown Abbey take imaginations into the 20s, when Lady Mary’s demure silk gowns were beaded with crystals and pearls. All that you thought was golden and gone, can be brought back easily. All is surreal.