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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blue blood and sandy beaches


Next Friday, there's going be a wedding in the UK.  Maybe you've heard about it?  The impending nuptials of a certain Will and Kate brought back memories of my own preteen excitement over being allowed to stay up into the wee hours to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana.  Then I remembered reading somewhere that designer India Hicks was one of Di's bridesmaids.  A little sleuthing confirmed it.  Ms. Hicks, second from the left in the photo, was a tender 13 and charged with the solemn task of righting the Princess-to-be's train. 

 

India Hicks' pedigree and life is the stuff of a BBC mini-series with scenes shot in elegantly decaying manor houses and across distant sweeping colonial outposts.  Her great great grandmother was Queen Victoria and her grandfather, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India.  Her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks, is a former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth.  Her father was design god David Hicks.  Ms. India herself is in succession to the throne of England (521st, but who's counting?).


Hicks leads a low-key life in comparison to her royal and noble cousins.  She is mother to four young children and calls the Bahamas home, though hers is not a completely idle lifestyle. 


Hicks co-owns an island boutique, creates scented bath products for Crabtree & Evelyn, has modeled for Ralph Lauren and most recently Tod's, and hosted the second season of Top Design (RIP).  She has also co-authored several lifestyle books and a memoir with her mother about the last days of colonial India.


In May, she will launch a fine jewelry collection, Hicks on Hicks, with designs based on the work of her late father.  The line will include rings, pendants, and earrings fashioned of silver, gold and diamonds.


Hicks recently shared a memory of how Princess Diana arrived for her royal wedding 30 years ago: "She turned up in a pair of jeans, and I have a lasting impression of Diana with a diamond tiara on her head, dressed in jeans below, while they fitted her tiara to see what it would look like." She added that Diana was watching television whilst getting ready: "She was very intrigued by it. For her, it was so new to see herself on television, can you imagine? Her whole life going before her eyes. And she kept pushing everybody out of the way. 'Move,' she'd say."

India Hicks [official website]
The Sugar Mill Trading Company [official site]
India Hicks Collection [Crabtree & Evelyn]
India Hicks Fine Jewelry [IndiaHicks.com]
Tiara and Jeans [Vogue UK]

19 comments:

Karena said...

Great research Raina it is amazing the interesting people out there and the lives they lead. India is pedigreed however so uber talented as well.

I love the new jewelry line from what i've seen.

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

hush said...

That Anglophilia itch I didn't even know I had has now just been scratched. Programming my DVR now.

Appletree said...

fascinating, I had no idea

Ailie said...

The world seems to be obsessed with the royal wedding, apart from here in the UK. No one I know gives a crap, but we're all glad of the extra holiday time off work.

Anyway, that aside, great research and eye-candy, Raina!

I bought some beautiful David Hicks wallpaper earlier this week and have been obsessing over the very expensive fabric collection too. It's interesting and slightly odd to see the patterns used in jewellery.

Molly Marler said...

OBSESSED. not so much as with the wedding (will def watch, just not trying to buy any place settings or bars of soap with their pics on it), but rather with all things royal. i'm a striver. somehow have to learn to accept that i am not, in fact, the next diana. unless of course my plans to remove this so-called "kate" from the picture are successful...bwhahahahaha.
love this, though, raina. thanks.

susie q said...

Fascinating.

A Perfect Gray said...

you always give us the best stuff...

Just Martha said...

What a wonderful post! I knew India Hicks was in the wedding party but didn't know all that other fantastic information. You write so beautifully. What a great way to start the day.....

my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you said...

oh raina...back in the early 80's when this wedding took place, i think i was like, 11? anyway..i was at my grandparents house and i donned an english accent for the whole day. my anglophilia was born that day. or at least wholly cemented. i was enchanted really and truly.
and this wedding is no different. i can't wait.
india hicks gave an interview the other night on 20/20 about the wedding. the whole thing was awesome to watch.
also...you can follow india hicks on twitter. she sometimes post pics into her life. which is way awesome.

nanne said...

i was in london the summer of charles & diana's wedding. was walking down some street with a friend and noticed a fleet of limo's, a bunch of people and press....being nosey, we got as close as we could and were rewarded by seeing diana & charles exiting a limo for a movie premiere.

was never a rabid diana fan, but i have to say she was much more beautiful in real life than in any photograph i ever saw of her...and it was really cool to actually just randomly see her out and about. somewhere in my house there is a grainy, instamatic camera pic of the event...

nanne in indiana by way of alabama

Raina Cox said...

Just Martha - Hello and welcome to this deliciousness!

And thank you!

Madam Pince said...

Love Miss India. That is all.

5th and state said...

i saw that ottoman at the ny gift show.ordered from the company but not that piece, thank God if it will be in anthro. i love contrasts; sleek lucite and torn brazilian truck tarp strips..yep that's the material.

so spot on, india could be her own mini-series but did not know q.victoria was her ggmother!
best

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

I have long admired India Hicks... she seems to be a lovely lady.

I have my Princess Diana story too. My husband (boyfriend at the time) took me to Kensington Place (really fancy restaurant in London) for my 29th birthday and on the next table was Princess Diana with two girlfriends. I was SO happy to be next to her and not a soul bothered her. She and her friends flirted with the waiter and giggled the whole time. When she stood up she was so tall - her legs seemed to go on forever.

I'll never forget that birthday!

First House on the Right said...

Getting rather excited on this side of the globe :) Lovely feature on India Hicks Nicolex

The Fine Life said...

I did not know this about Ms. Hicks. What a fascinating life she is STILL living! You tell her story well, and the photos are fabulous, especially the one of the wedding.

Unfortunately for me, I was not a preteen at the time. I was exactly Diana's age, and I believed in the fairy tale. I see things with jaded eyes now, and hope that the young royals - just everyday people, really - enjoy a different kind of life. It would be nice if the press learned it's lesson, and let this lovely young couple be.

Julie @ Chapman Interiors said...

Ohhhh I like learning about people.. She is a little bit perfect. Funny to imagine diana in jeans and tiara..

karly / design-crisis said...

I was just thinking that i might do some royal wedding spin on my post this week. then i read this. it pretty much beats the pants off anything i would have written. Tiaras off to you, lady.

Bromeliad said...

I vote this Most Creative Design Tie-In to the Royal Wedding.