This robe is a stunning and unique work of art made from the silk of more than a million female Golden Orb Weaver spiders collected in the highlands of Madagascar. The silk is naturally this dazzling golden colour. The robe has been created by Simon Peers & Nicholas Godley. The silk is extracted from the spider using a device that pulls the silk strands from the spider’s spinneret and then the spider is set free.


Today, His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales married Kate Middleton, and it has lifted the spirits of people worldwide with an entertaining display of pomp and ceremony as befits a Right Royal Happy Day.

But really, it was all about ’The Dress’…

And here it is,  a contemporary silhouette in lace, simply elegant on a pretty, young woman, as designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen…

Kate Middleton did indeed look radiant in this dress but it is somewhat understated for my taste and my bridal dress dreams are with the royal wedding dresses below.

For an exquisite lace creation then I believe there is no other than the ethereal white wedding gown of Grace Kelly for her marriage to Prince Ranier III of Monaco in 1956, as designed by  Helen Rose of MGM Studios. I particularly like the Juliet cap veil.

For a wedding dress of fairytale proportions then it has to be the swathes of silk taffeta that encompass the wedding dress of Diana Spencer for her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, as designed by David & Elizabeth Emmanuel.

For a wedding dress evocative of Ye Olde Englande, then it has to be the Tudor style wedding gown of Princess Anne for her marriage to Mark Phillips in 1973, as designed by Maureen Baker at Susan Small. I particularly like the bell shape sleeves.

For a wedding dress that befits the mature divorcee then it has to be the modest dress coat of Camilla Parker-Bowles for her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, as designed by Anna Valentine. I particularly like the feather headdress.

For a wedding dress that is an exotic beauty then it has to be the kaftan or takchita of Lalla Salma for her marriage to King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2002. This is a couture version of traditional Moroccan dress and I particularly like the diamond face decoration that complements the geometric design of the tiara and earrings.

I braved the hordes of tourists and the maze of the British Museum to stand before this crown that is simply breathtaking in its simplicity and beauty.

The crown is handcrafted from dainty pieces of hammered gold to form a framework of a horizontal headband with vertical inserts and all adorned with hand made gold flowers and wired droplets. The gold is reflective and the droplets create a constant shimmering movement. The crown is designed to be dismantled in to half a dozen pieces and reassembled with ease as befits the nomadic lifestyle.

In 1978, on the eve of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, at the heritage site of Tillya Tepe, a nomad cemetery, a Russian archaeologist discovered over 20,000 pieces of jewellery, including this exquisite gold crown. During the ravages of war, these precious artefacts were hidden by Afghan officials, but now these treasures are free to travel the world to remind us of the rich cultural history of Afghanistan.