My background

The Queen Mother picAt the age of sixteen, after attending trade school, I began an aprenticeship with Rudolf and have now been a milliner for over 40 years. I finished my training at twenty-three and left Rudolf’s employment to gain experience with other prominent milliners of the day, such as Mitzi Lorenz, Verniers, Langee, Otto Lucas, Bermans Theatrical and Frederick Fox. During this time I made hats for many celebrities and members of the Royal Family. After seven years I returned to work for Rudolf who, as well as making hats for many eminent people and theatrical productions, was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Milliner.

hat making courseI left full-time employment after Rudolf’s death in 1982, but continued to work with his partner Miss Joy Quested Nowell until her death, making hats for the Queen Mother. I continued this honour under my own label and as a Royal Warrant holder until Her Majesty’s recent death.

millinery course01At the same time I have maintained my teaching commitments both with the Local Authority Adult Education classes and privately. I have always loved teaching and passing on the skills of my trade to others. Students have come from countries around the world including Africa, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Europe and of course all over the UK. Many of these students have returned to their homelands to take up employment in the trade and have become successful milliners.

millinery course02I believe millinery should be taught as a traditional craft. My aim is that students should experience pleasure in designing original creations and if they so choose, go on to become successful milliners in their own rights. For many years I organised trips to Royal Ascot for students who under my tuition had designed and made hats. These creations attracted a great deal of interest from the media. Four of my students have now been successful applicants of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust.