Margaret Sumpter, 77, started her career in couture in the workshop of the Queen’s favourite designer, Norman Hartnell, who created dresses for her two most important occasions – her wedding and her coronation.
Margaret joined Hartnell’s when she was 15 and two years later rose to be a “hand” which meant she got her own garments to work on, instead of assisting someone else.
In the following few years she worked on outfits for the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra, plus other high-profile socialites of the day including, Lady Marks of Marks&Spencer and the wife of holiday camp magnate, Billy Butlin.
Six decades on, Margaret is still stitching. In a sewing room at her home in Dagenham, Essex, happily works on dresses and shorts for our kids,
Margaret discovered the charity through her daughter Dawn Szpak who is in Mercy Changawa's sponsor family..
|Sylvester, Chesco and Abdul|
|Ludwin and Farhida|
caused gasps of surprise and then of admiration.”
It was worn again for the State Opening of Parliament later that year.
Another of Margaret’s fashion triumphs was a wedding dress made for Frances, daughter of the Duchess of Argyll and golfer Charles Sweeny, when she married the Duke of Rutland.
“Designed by Norman Hartnell and made by mum it was described as “The dress with the dip line” and one publication reported “the bride of the year in the dress of the year,” said Dawn.
A huge thank you to Margaret for putting her talents to good use for our children and to Dawn too.
Your love and support is truly appreciated.