31 Jan 2013

Queenie has a new hat

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to our elder daughter, D-M. when she was a baby - a cotton bonnet trimmed with embroidered ribbon that now seems out-of-date as a fashion for babies!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!


  1. Love this story about Queenie. What a lucky little girl to welcome Queenie with all her history Linda. Miss Emily and Miss Edith remind me of the two sisters in the Walton's stories. Have you ever thought about writing about the house and your family history?

  2. Hi Linda,

    Loved reading about the story of your family and your precious doll.
    She is so beautiful and a real treasure to have in your family.
    We always enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow and seeing all the beautiful old dolls and teddy bears. Thanks for showing us.
    Have a good weekend

  3. the new hat is really pretty and she looks great in it. hard to believe she is that old, she is in perfect condition. i had many dolls when i was a child but none of them left home with me when i got married. they all stayed in my room, until my boys were born, then we donated them to someone, i can't remember who.
    i like that photo of the aunts when they were younger. i have a couple like that of my great aunt, same style dresses.

  4. Thank you for sharing the story of Queenie and your great-aunts. I must say Queenie looks beautiful in her new hat.

  5. I did enjoy this lovely nostalgic post, Linda and the photos of Queenie and your great-aunts. Her new hat is very smart and her pretty broderie anglaise bonnet is almost identical to the one I had for our daughter as a baby in the early 70s. I love the photo of you with your doll's pram, as i had a very similar one at much the same period.
    I too had several maiden great-aunts, who, like yours had lost their sweethearts in war and were some of the million-plus "surplus" women destined to remain unmarried all their lives.

  6. What a perfectly wonderful hat. The little white bonnet is the style I am acquainted with from childhood years.

  7. Lovely story Linda and Queenie could be my Rose's sister - coming from Germany as they both did. They are almost identical in looks too.

  8. I love this story! What a treasure you have and thanks so much for sharing. Queenie clearly is a treasure for the whole family!

  9. What lovely old photos of your family and a great story! I'm a bit fo a teddy bear fan but my doll (Big Elizabeth) still presides over my parents spare bedroom. Jx

  10. What a lovely story, I thoroughly enjoyed this Linda, the photo of you with the dolls pram reminded me very much of my own childhood. Thanks for your recent comment on my photo blog. I love visiting your blog, just sorry it has not been very often recently. Yes I do find FB is a good way to keep in touch with family,friends(real life and virtual). It has definitely made keeping people up to date with our situation much less stressful. I would love to befriend you there if you are interested?

  11. She's a beauty! How I loved this post, full of wonderful memories and old photos. Your daughter's gift looks very smart on her.

  12. Oh how special... That is so neat that you still have that doll and chair... I WISH I had some of the treasures like that from my childhood.... Love the new hat... Can't wait to see the coat when you get one.

    Hope you have a good weekend. We finally got some SNOW this morning... Yeah!!! BUT--it was 10 degrees when I got up early today...


  13. Queenie is quite a beautiful doll. I loved seeing the pictures of your aunts and also you as a little girl. What treasures and memories you have.