Sunday, 15 April 2012

A toilet fit for a Queen

A couple of months ago I was given the delightful project of creating a 'toilet fit for a Queen'. Sudeley Castle is celebrating the Quincentenary of Katherine Parr. She lived at Sudeley Castle with Thomas Seymour. Jean Bray the wonderful historian at the castle found lots of interesting information about Katherine, including a description of her toilet.

'The Queen's lavatory must have been one of the most opulent privies in the whole of Tudor England at the time.
It had a crimson velvet canopy, cushions covered in cloth of gold and a seat of crimson velvet for the royal posterior. A removable commode was covered with red silk and ribbons attached with gilt nails.'

The only remaining old toilet I had to go on, as it were was a photo of one at Hampton Court. ....very nice but I didn't think it fitted the description. After a meeting with Lady Ashcombe where we both sketched out various designs we came up with this one. (Lady Ashcombe has a very good eye for colour and design )
Ryan the security guard at Sudeley with he help of Will kindly made the base frame up for me.

Then with my good mate Hayley Moreland we set too with the upholstery. We used beautiful velvet,and old silk brocade from Flanders along with the dismantled sections of one of Lady Ashcombes favourite silk skirts....she did know ! The canopy itself used up nearly twenty yards of material..... and here it is ! I resisted the temptation to try it out...but I bet someone will have sat on it !

Half of us were tickled by the idea of a velvet loo seat and half were appalled by the hygiene side...but to be honest, if we all had someone else to do the cleaning I'm sure we all would like one, after all it must be quite a treat on a cold frosty morning !
Interestingly it appears that the Royal family still sit on velvet covered loo seats. My Dad remembered a friend telling him that The Queen Mother when visiting the Cheltenham Gold Cup had a velvet loo seat...they all had a nick name for her...something like 'soft cheeks'.

Noel Gallagher also reported using the Queens loo and said it had a velvet seat.

The Queen visited Edith Bowman to have dinner and her Grandads especially made a velvet loo seat for the occasion.

From Midas property Consultants.
Recently the most expensive toilet that has been made is covered in swarovski crystals and costs £83000..
For a brief history of toilets please follow the next link...

http://www.boston.com/news/packages/krt/millennium/html/p_toilet.htm

Keep sitting pretty !

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