The late Queen Elizabeth II touched numerous lives throughout her 70-year reign—typically in gloves made by Cornelia James. The glove maker’s inventive director Genevieve James not too long ago opened up about her experiences working for the late monarch.
The Queen’s Iconic Accent
If you image the Queen, it’s onerous to not image gloves. They had been on the forefront of each royal wave, and like her hat and purse, the queen was hardly ever seen with out them. For greater than 70 years, a lot of these gloves had been made by Cornelia James. Began by its namesake after World Battle II, the glove maker is now helmed by Cornelia’s daughter, Genevieve.
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Genevieve shared her experiences working with the queen in a latest interview with Hello Magazine. “I will best remember the Queen sitting in a black Daimler with her white-gloved hand waving out the window,” she says. “I felt immensely proud when I saw her wearing our gloves. I remember when she went to London Fashion Week and sat next to American Vogue Editor Anna Wintour—two Queens together—and all the pictures were about the Queen. She was above everybody. She wasn’t trendy, not anything, simply the Queen.”
The glove maker has labored with many huge names over time. However no person, she says, compares to the Queen. “I always think, we work with many different people—our gloves are worn by Rihanna, by Madonna, by all sorts of celebrities—but the Queen is the one that really counts for me. She was special. It was quite an honour.”
The Ladies Behind the Gloves
The story of how Cornelia James grew to become glove maker to the Queen reads just like the premise for a Netflix mini-series. Its namesake founder fled the Nazi regime in 1939 earlier than arriving in England as a refugee. Cornelia caught her huge break when the then-princess Elizabeth commissioned gloves for her wedding ceremony to Phillip Mountbatten.
“The Queen first began wearing our gloves in the 1940s when my mother started the business, and she stayed loyal to the brand ever since,” Genevieve says. “Over the years she must have had 40 or 50 pairs of our gloves and she’d always have a spare pair in her handbag. Sometimes the Queen would wear her older gloves; she’d send some back for repairs on occasion.”
Working with the queen was about greater than enterprise, Genevieve says. “I always remember that when my mother was dying (my mother had cancer and was in a hospice), the palace rang up and said the Queen wanted to know how my mother was,” she says. “I thought that was really quite thoughtful. We were just making her gloves really, but she wanted to know how my mother was doing. She cared about people. She had no airs or graces; she was very humble.”
The Queen’s White-Glove Therapy
Genevieve shared a profound sense of loss in her tribute to the queen posted on the Cornelia James website.
“Pens finer by far than mine have described the extraordinary sense of loss that so many of us are feeling in the wake of the Queen’s death,” the second-generation glove maker wrote. “In an uncertain world she was one of the fixed points by which many of us, unconsciously, navigated our way through life. To lose that fixed point leaves us suddenly all at sea, without a compass.”
Like many tributes to the late queen, the glove maker goes on to share her expertise assembly the queen in particular person. The “chance meeting that was almost magical” occurred throughout a Christmas Truthful held at Buckingham Palace.
“In the afternoon of the second day of the fair, there was a rumour of a Royal visit,” she remembers. “A sense of expectancy went round the room and, at a certain moment, I spied the familiar figure, small in stature and suited in emerald green, at the end of a long aisle. To my consternation, she appeared to be making a beeline straight for me.”
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Seconds later, she says she discovered herself face-to-face with Her Majesty. With no time to organize, she “managed only a poorly executed and clumsy movement that was part curtsey, part bob” earlier than introducing herself to the queen.
“Your Majesty, I am your glove maker,” she remembers saying. “‘I know exactly who you are’ came the response.”
The glove maker and gifted storyteller spoke of the possibility assembly in her interview with Whats up Journal. “I was nothing to her, but she made me feel like I was quite important,” she says.
“That’s the sort of knack that she had. She was so much a people’s person. When you talked to her, she made you feel like you were the only that counted. I don’t think there will ever be a Queen like her again. I think we all thought that she was going to live forever. She was on the ball till the end.”