Six days before giving birth to my daughter Cosima we went to the millinery event of the year – Royal Ascot.
The only way my husband William could get me to go to Ascot eight months pregnant was the promise of a decent lunch, over looking the winner’s enclosure on a double decker bus stripped down and re-decked out like a 1930s luxury yacht. Knowing that I needn’t actually move all day and that I could still see all the racing from Car Park 1 whilst having a delicious lunch followed by Charbonnel et Walker chocolates was enough to persuade me – so off we went to find the The Rosebery.
Once we had issued the last minute invitations, some social and business diary juggling quickly followed. Within two days, we had 14 acceptances to the smartest box at Ascot being offered to us by Simon Davis, owner of The Rosebery. Almost all the girls we wearing my hats which made the day even more special. The highlights were those from my Charbonnel Ascot collection as created exclusively for the shop window of Charbonne et Walker in the Royal Arcade. Charbonel’s society ambassador, actress Charlotte Radford, was wearing a hat of mine based on a Charbonnel pink champagne truffle. Charlotte Griffiths of the Mail on Sunday was wearing a hat based on a mixed box of Charbonnel chocolates, including my favourite – violet creams.
The guests included my brother George who had never been to Royal Ascot before. He had no idea where Car Park 1 was so he parked outside a Chinese restaurant to ask for directions. After handing over £20, he was allowed to park in the restaurant car park. Just as he was wondering where on earth to head, a bus carrying a Stag Party of strangers passed by and they said ‘jump on board…we’re heading for Car Park 1′.