Queenie has been with me for 60 years except for the years when we lived in Italy. During those times she was looked after by my mother and has always sat in Mum's childhood rocking chair.
She's a German doll with a porcelain face, jointed limbs and eyes that open and close. Her underwear and dress, including her boots are original. She's also wearing an embroidered overdress that belonged to our eldest daughter when she was a baby that was bought in Italy.
Queenie was given to me by my paternal great-aunts, Emily and Edith, the sisters of Thomas Henry who died in the Great War just a month after my grandmother gave birth to my father, their third child. (Mentioned in my Rememberance Day 2012 post).
Above are photos of them as young women and as elderly ladies taking tea with my paternal grandmother, Helen May.
The two sisters never married and I know Edith's sweetheart died in one of the Boer War campaigns. The two ladies lived together in the house that I eventually inherited together with many of their personal items and where I lived from the age of ten when Edith, the younger sister, died. This house still had gas lighting in the 1950s and seemed to me to be very dark and atmospheric when I went to visit as a young child.
Here's me with my doll's pram. As an only child and the oldest grandchild I received a great amount of attention and affection. My parents and I lived with my maternal grandparents as many young families did during the years after WWII and I remember spending a lot of time with adults and being taken on visits to great aunts and uncles, including Miss Emily and Miss Edith. Later on tree-climbing and other adventures were preferred as many of my primary school friends and cousins were boys!
Until recently Queenie has had a hat which also belonged to our elder daughter, D-M. when she was a baby - a cotton bonnet trimmed with embroidered ribbon that now seems out-of-date as a fashion for babies!
Then during our daughter's visit at Christmas she produced a parcel containing a lovely vintage hat for Queenie.
Now all she needs is a vintage coat to complete the outfit!