04:30PM, Tuesday 26 October 2021
Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret dressed in costumes for the 1943 performance of Aladdin at Windsor Castle. With them is Hubert Tannar, Headmaster of the Royal School. Credit: Royal Collection
This Christmas a special display at Windsor Castle will bring together costumes worn by the Queen and Princess Margaret during wartime pantomimes.
During the Second World War the Royal sisters spent much of their time in Windsor to stay away from bombing in London.
Between 1941 and 1944 they performed and helped in a series of Christmas pantomimes to raise money for the Royal Household Wool Fund which supplied knitting wool to make comforters for soldiers fighting.
Visitors to Windsor Castle will have the chance to see six rare surviving costumes worn by teenager Princesses during the performances brought together for the first time.
The 16 colourful ‘pantomime pictures’ that were pasted into empty frames in the Waterloo Chamber
They will be displayed in the Waterloo Chamber where the pantomimes were performed 80 years ago.
The costumes are from Aladdin (1943) and Old Mother Red Riding Boots (1944).
In Aladdin the then Princess Elizabeth wore a gold brocade and turquoise jacket dungarees and matching hat. Princess Margaret wore a red silk dress and matching dress to play Princess Roxana.
Caroline de Guitaut, curator of the display, condition checks the costumes in preparation for display
In Old Mother Riding Boots, the Queen wore a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress to play Lady Christina Sherwood and later donned a chintz shirt, trousers and sunhat for a seaside scene. Princess Margaret wore a blue taffeta dress with cream lace bloomers to play The Honourable Lucinda Fairfax.
There will also be 16 large pictures of fairy-tale characters that were put up around the walls to decorate the space for pantomimes. The pictures were covered up at the end of the war.
The exhibition will be on display from November 25 until January 31.
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.