Sunday, April 29, 2007

Queen Elizabeth I's christening gown rediscovered

A christening gown once worn by Queen Elizabeth I has been discovered by chance during a clear-out of a Gloucestershire stately home.

The 500 year-old gown was found at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, by Lady Elizabeth Ashcombe while she was tidying a box of textiles in a cupboard.

The gown, worn by Henry VIII's daughter at her baptism in Greenwich in 1533, was authenticated by experts in the 1880s, yet subsequently forgotten about.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Jean Bray, an archivist working at Sudeley said: "The dress was handed down in the family, which claims descent from Henry's sixth wife Katherine Parr. It was authenticated at the Victoria and Albert museum".

It is now thought the gown will take pride of place at an exhibition in Sudeley - recently the setting for Liz Hurley's wedding - in June.

Elizabeth's connection with Sudeley started as a child and continued into her reign. She visited the 15th century castle three times as queen, notably at a feast in 1592 celebrating the defeat of the Spanish Armada.


  1. Anonymous3:14 PM

    "Descended from Catherine Parr"? I thought she died in childbirth and her only child, Mary, vanished from history.

  2. I think what the article meant was that the dress was found in the attic of a family that was descended from Catherine Parr.

    Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. Henry had Ann beheaded. He then married Jane Seymour who died shortly after giving birth to Henry's only living son (at least he lived for a while - outliving his father by only a couple of years). Henry then married Anne of Cleves, a politically arranged marriage that was never consummated because Henry did not find Anne physically attractive (he referred to her as his Flemish mare). Henry had that marriage annulled and made Anne legally his "sister". Then Henry was smitten by a teenager from the Howard clan - Catherine Howard. The girl was reportedly very promiscuous which Henry eventually discovered. She, too, was charged with adultery and beheaded. Then Henry married Catherine Parr who eventually outlived him. As his widow, Catherine probably kept any remaining mementos which must have included Elizabeth's christening dress.

  3. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Catherine Parr was Henry's 6th and final wife. You're mixing up his wives.

    1) Katherine of Aragon - mother to Mary (divorced)
    2) Anne Boleyn - mother to Elizabeth (beheaded)
    3) Jane Seymour - mother to Edward (died in childbirth)
    4) Anne of Cleves (divorced)
    5) Katherine Howard (beheaded)
    6) Catherine Parr, outlived Henry VIII to marry AGAIN (for the 3rd or 4th time or something)

  4. Anonymous7:53 PM

    No - the first comment is not mixing up wives. Catherine Parr did outlive Henry VIII but died of complications from childbirth a few days after giving birth to a daughter Mary Seymour from her later marriage to Thomas Seymour. Mary Seymour did indeed disappear from history - is likely to have died as a young child.

  5. Maybe it could be the christening gown for Will and Kate's child???