‘Make do and mend’: Will the thrifty King surprise with his coronation clobber? – Good Weekend

How does one dress down when one is expected to dress up? I’m thinking, specifically, of the dilemma facing the King, who’d like to keep his looming coronation low-key. Let’s move on from which family members should or should not be present to the crux of the matter: what, in god’s name, does one wear to be anointed these days?

The King – a proponent of “make do and mend” – has declared his Westminster Abbey ceremony will be less expensive.
The King – a proponent of “make do and mend” – has declared his Westminster Abbey ceremony will be less expensive. CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Britain’s new king is signalling that he wants a slimmed-down monarchy. We’re told his May coronation will be “smaller” and “less expensive” than that of his late mother back in 1953. But such terms are relative when the act of popping a heavy crown on a young head all those years ago cost the equivalent of $82 million today.

As for “smaller”; seating stacked to the rafters meant the late Queen had more than 8000 in Westminster Abbey for her coronation. Her son wants to cull that back to about 2000 – on the one hand, removing the indignity of countesses having to clamber up to the cheap seats, and on the other, causing consternation across the realm as to who might need to dust off their tiara at all.

The last British coronation, in 1953, cost the equivalent of $82 million today.
The last British coronation, in 1953, cost the equivalent of $82 million today. CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

What’s certain is that those watching will expect a show. But given the calibre of the spectaculars laid on so recently for royal occasions, what should the costumes be this time? One needs to turn the wattage down, especially since so many of one’s subjects can barely afford to turn the electricity on. But one can’t command the necessary gravitas while wearing sweats, can one?

Could he borrow the lion head worn by Kylie Jenner?
Could he borrow the lion head worn by Kylie Jenner?

King Charles, as we know, is admirably “make do and mend”. While taller than his late mama, her coronation robe comes – handily – with a massive train which allows for letting the hems down. Alteration is so on trend. Should embroiderers be unpicking the E from the ER by royal appointment and reusing the golden thread to make CR? No matter if tiny stitch holes remain: visible mending is also super current.

But what of the ermine trim? Has one moved beyond decking one’s person in pelts? Strictly speaking, the choice is sustainable – those animals are long dead – but there’s Brand Buckingham to consider. Might a forward-thinker use faux? Perhaps a call – Palace to Paris – to request that Schiaparelli’s creative director despatch the lion’s head worn by Kylie Jenner at his recent show? It’s bold enough to be seen from the back of the Abbey, made from silk fake fur, and would amplify another key message for the good of the planet: borrowing is the new black.

It’s being said that the King shall not wear the silk stockings and breeches combo of coronation tradition. Good move: expecting a septuagenarian to dress up as a pantomime Prince Charming would be unwise, especially considering past controversies involving princes and costume parties stirred up by a certain recent memoir.

King Charles III, we’re told, will wear military uniform instead. Multiple re-wears underline a commitment to sustainability.

King Charles will reportedly wear a military uniform for his coronation, breaking with tradition.
King Charles will reportedly wear a military uniform for his coronation, breaking with tradition. CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

But hasn’t military regalia gone right out of fashion? The leader of a country engaged in an actual war, it should be noted, sports not a hint of braid; indeed, when Ukraine’s President Zelensky met the UK’s most senior royal recently, he was wearing – wait for it – sweats. With gravitas.

Sweats under second-hand royal robes, then? Well, the only fast rule of any style choice is that you won’t please all of the people all of the time. Even if, in this case, those commenting might technically be “one’s people”. Dress up or dress down?

Told you. It’s a tough call.

‘Lee’: First Look At Kate Winslet As Pioneering War Correspondent & Photographer Lee Miller; Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Samberg, Noémie Merlant, More Join Cast – deadline

Here’s the striking first official image of Kate Winslet as Lee Miller in feature Lee

The image, shot during filming on location in Croatia, shows Oscar winner Winslet as the pioneering American war correspondent and photographer who covered WWII in Europe for British Vogue.

Filming is ongoing on the directorial debut of respected cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind). 

The film is not being called a biopic by Winslet and the producers, but it does explore the most significant decade of Lee Miller’s life. As a middle-aged woman, she refused to be remembered as a model and male artists’ muse and defied expectations by travelling to Europe to report from the frontline. There, in part as a reaction to her own well-hidden trauma, she used her Rolleiflex camera to give a voice to the voiceless. What Lee captured on film in Dachau and throughout Europe was shocking and horrific. Her photographs of the war, its victims and its consequences remain among the most significant and historically important of the second world war. The film will also deal with the personal price of her endeavors.

Joining the cast, we can reveal, is Alexander Skarsgård as English Surrealist painter, photographer, poet and biographer Roland Penrose (the role was previously going to be played by Jude Law but the British actor is no longer aboard). Andy Samberg is confirmed in the role of Life Magazine photographer David E. Scherman; previously announced were Marion Cotillard playing Solange D’Ayen, the fashion director of French Vogue and close friend of Miller’s, Josh O’Connor as Tony, a young journalist, and Andrea Riseborough as British Vogue Editor Audrey Withers.

Also new to the cast today are Noémie Merlant (Tar) playing Nusch Eluard; Arinzé Kene (Been So Long) as Major Jonesy; Vincent Colombe (Revenge) playing Paul Eluard; Patrick Mille (Bad Girl) playing Jean D’Ayen; Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) as Cecil Beaton and Zita Hanrot (Paul Sanchez Is Back!) playing Ady Fidelin.

Pic is produced by Kate Solomon and Kate Winslet, with Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Marie Savare and Lauren Hantz. Executive producers are Julia Stuart and Laura Grange, Finola Dwyer, Thorsten Schumacher, Billy Mulligan, John Hantz, Jason Duan, Crystine Zhang, Lem Dobbs, Liz Hannah, John Collee and Clare Hardwick. 

The feature is a MS Participations, Rocket Science, Hantz Motion Pictures and Sky Original film in association with Pasaca Entertainment. It’s a Brouhaha Entertainment and Juggle Films Production in association with 55 Films and Vogue Studios.

Sky holds the rights in the UK. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group represent the film’s domestic rights. Rocket Science set up the financing for the film by selling out at AFM 2021. Distribution deals were struck with Studio Canal (Germany), Australia, New Zealand), SND (France), Vertice (Italy, Spain and Latin America), Scanbox (Scandinavia), Elevation (Canada), and The Searchers (Benelux). Further distribution partners include Odeon (Greece), Lusomundo (Portugal) Forum (Israel), Front Row (Middle East), Film Finity (South Africa) Vertical Entertainment (Poland, Eastern Europe), and ACME, (Baltic States).

The creative team includes director of photography Pawel Edelman (The Pianist, Ray), production designer Gemma Jackson (Aladdin, The Gentlemen), costume designer Michael O’Connor (Jane Eyre, The Duchess), hair and make-up designer Ivana Primorac (Darkest Hour, The Crown) and music is being composed and conducted by two-time Academy Award winning composer Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Lee is written by Liz Hannah, Lem Dobbs, John Collee and Marion Hume and is based on The Lives of Lee Miller by Antony Penrose who serves as a consultant to the production.

Filming takes place in Croatia, Hungary and London. Pioneer Stillking is the Production service company for Hungary. Embassy Films is the Production service company for Croatia. As was widely reported one month ago, Winslet suffered a fall during production but was quickly back to work after a short break.

Kate Winslet said today: “To me, she was a life force to be reckoned with, so much more than an object of attention from famous men with whom she is associated. This photographer, writer, reporter, did everything she did with love, lust, and courage, and is an inspiration of what you can achieve, and what you can bear, if you dare to take life firmly by the hands and live it at full throttle.”

Julia Stuart, Director of Original Film at Sky, added: “Sky is honoured to bring Lee Miller’s wartime journey to screens across the UK. Lee Miller was an utterly unstoppable woman, whose timeless story is as relevant now as it was in her day, and there is no one better suited to that role than the masterful Kate Winslet.”

Winslet is repped by CAA and United Agents; Samberg is repped by UTA; Cotillard is repped by CAA and Agence Adequat; Skarsgård is repped by CAA; Riseborough is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, Independent Talent Group and O’Connor is repped by Independent Talent Group; CAA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.

Journalist, Ethical Consultant and Screenwriter