Monday, 31 July 2017

Paper Dolls from the 1950s - 80s and a Royal Wedding

Are you a fan of paper dolls and/or weddings? If so you are in the right place today! I’m going to share a couple of my paper dolls from the 1950s, one from the 70s and finally a Royal Wedding (paper doll style). 

The Dresses of England a souvenir from the Festival of Britain [1951] is from the Muse Arts 'New Fabric' series. The illustrations are by Lottie Gorn, and the accompanying story about two children called John and Elizabeth is by Dora Nash.






Dresses From Many Lands is another from the Muse Arts series. I’m not sure if you can tell from the photographs, but the dresses really do feel as if they are made from fabric. I love the dolls in this one because they are so reminiscent of the actual dolls I played with as a child.







This magic wand dressing doll is from the 1970s. It comes with a ‘wand’ and according to the instructions, ‘everything stays in its proper place once rubbed down with the magic wand’. Well maybe it did once, but not any more. This ‘magic wand’ has definitely lost its potency!  I know the old-fashioned paper tabs are liable to tear but a bit of sticky tape quickly resolves the problem. I’m not sure this ‘new and improved’ paper doll will ever function properly again.



Chuck & Di Have a Baby with dolls of Charles, Diana and new baby (dressed in yellow) together with V.I.P visitors such as Grandma Barbara Cartland and Mrs.Thatcher. It's full of clothes for every occasion, including the engagement, wedding, on the town, yachting, baby’s christening, high life at Highgrove and looking ahead.





What a shame the fairy tale didn’t come true.

We were in London just before the wedding when it felt like the whole country was ready to party. Those were the days when policemen walked around with ice lollies rather than guns... 







This is me with Steve (our son) thirty-six years ago! Steve now has four children of his own. I’ve no idea where those years went, but I can tell you they went quickly. 

Do you have happy memories of the Royal Wedding or the 1980s?

63 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, so many nice memories today. I ma not a fan of paper dolls, but still have a few rather tattered examples from my childhood. Have a good week, and a great start in the new month! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Hi Valerie, I’m pleased you enjoyed the post even though you are not a fan. Thanks for the good wishes and of course I wish the same to you. Hugs Barbara

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  2. Oh my goodness. I never knew such a thing existed - thank you for the education.
    Poor Diana. I felt sorry for her when the engagement was announced, and that sorrow never went away. The Royal Family have very, very demanding jobs, and she wasn't born to it.

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    1. Gosh you missed out they were such fun! I was devastated for her when Charles said the thing about “whatever love is” especially as Diane was so obviously in love with him. Horrid man I do hope he never becomes King. William would make a much better candidate for the job.

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  3. I used to love the cut-out doll books. I remember some of mine had a magnet on the figure and and magnet on the clothes. I also had some that had tabs too. I managed to find some for my grand=daughter the week.

    Try putting the magic wand next to a magnet for a while it may magnetise itself again........

    Julie xxxxxxxxx

    Who remembers the Bunty comic there was a cut-doll on the back.

    Yes the years pass all too quick. My three sons are in their thirties now too, my eldest grand-daughter is eight my youngest is nearly a year old now.........

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    1. That is a really good idea Julie, thanks so much I will try it. I only ever had the ones with paper tabs when I was growing up, so I’m not used to all this ‘technology’. :-)

      I must look for some for my granddaughters, and then I can pop them in my suitcase when we go next year, I’m sure they would love them.

      I remember the Bunty comic, and I think there was even a cut out doll in the yearly annuals. I must see if I can find them again, I loved them!
      Have a lovely week xxxx

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  4. I loved those paper clothes with the little tabs and played with them until the tabs broke off. As you say where have those years gone? xxxx

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    1. Hello Sue, it’s really sad because I have no memories of the two of us playing paper dolls together. I guess by the time I was old enough for them you had moved on to other things. I do remember us making all those hexagons for a quilt, what a job that was. Oh yes and making one of those rugs with the lengths of wool and those funny hook things.
      I was surprised when I looked back at the photos, Steve was a little boy with no idea he would one day have four children. Life moves in mysterious ways as they say. xxxx

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  5. Those are so fun! And yes--the royal wedding was the focus of my life for sure! Since we got married in 1982 it was inspiration for ours although of course ours was NOTHING like it. :-) Thanks for bringing back some memories today!

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    1. Hello Beth Ann, I’m sure your wedding was just as good if not better than any Royal Wedding. Maybe you could share some of your photos one day?
      Have a lovely week.

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  6. Dearest Barbara, I have such fond memories of the 80s when my husband and I met, dated and married. I remember moving to Boston from Los Angeles, the from Boston to Minneapolis when unfortunately, Princess Di had passed. But the images you provide connect with me, since it's been 35 years since we married and transplanted to such enchanting places here in our country. In the past few years, thanks to technology, I have entered into your world where you always take me into a quiet and reflective place. The only time I saw England was from the air, as I flew over it to get to France. But what I saw, I loved: green rolling hills, white dots of sheep and an occasional castle. What could be more beautiful.

    Paper dolls were part of my growing up, and these are exceptional. OH TO BE YOUNG AGAIN!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your memories Anita. It sounds as if your personal fairy tale is working out just as you would want it to. It was not to be for Princess Di, and it always makes me sad to think about it.
      Your description of England is perfect and matches the way I feel about it, but then I’m a country girl used to green fields, rolling hills and sheep. It may not be quite the same for people living in inner cities.

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  7. I wonder if I still have my royal wedding paper dolls. Of course I bought them. And have Royal Wedding slippers, too! I would have loved to have been there at that festive time. What a fun collection you have!

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    1. Hello Jeanie, Royal Wedding Slippers? I feel as if I’m missing out now! :) You can enjoy your paper dolls all over again when you find them. Have a great week.

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  8. We even partied over here in the U. S. I remember our dean closed the office early and we had a champagne, cake and music event. A lot of the other departments on campus popped in and some of the staff dressed up in queenly hats and pearls. Love those paper dolls.

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    1. That is such a lovely memory. It’s nice to know other parts of the world shared in with excitement.

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  9. Barbara, I absolutely love all the images of the paper dolls! I had forgotten all about them, so thank you so much for bringing back some great childhood memories for me!

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    1. Hello Linda, I think we all loved them when we were young, and it’s good to recapture those feelings. Have a lovely rest of the week.

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  10. I remember watching the wedding on tv. I had slept over a friend's house and we stayed up and watched it with her aunt. :)

    I used to love paper dolls when I was growing up. My mom actually put little tiny magnets on my paper dolls and then we put them on the inside of the clothes so they stayed on very securely while I was playing. :)

    Time does fly!

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    1. Hello Stephanie, it must have been really exciting to stay up and watch it at night. We didn't move from the TV all day other than to prepare food or make a cup of tea!
      How clever of your mom to use magnets, mums are the best aren’t they.

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  11. Here we used to play with dolls made with piece of cloth so beautifully with features and hair .I wish I would have to show you some dear Barbra!

    I absolutely loved these pretty dolls from different era
    I wish world must be a peaceful place with policemen who only have ice lolies in hand .
    I am glad you shared your photo. I enlarged it and zoomed and found you an elegant beautiful lady.
    Your son was so cute .You are right kids grow fast and train of life get faster to final junction

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    1. Your dolls sound lovely, and I wish you had some to show me too.
      I agree with you about the world and wish it could return to how it was back then, but sadly I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime.
      Thank you so much for your kind words about my son and me Steve is still cute. I'm just older. :)

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  12. Wonderful post, Barbara! I love seeing the different styles of paper dolls. I got a kick out of the page of royal visitors popping in. But I think my favorite set would be the fabric dresses of many lands. They look fascinating to study and play with. Do they still punch out of paper sheets or is the whole sheet fabric and you cut them out with scissors? I enjoyed seeing your London pictures, too, especially the one of you and your son. Time flies for sure!

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    1. Hello Marcia, the idea of the post came directly from you so thank you for the inspiration. I enjoyed putting it together and looking back at old photos.
      The dresses and hats are made of fabric but everything else (arms, hands, etc.,) is paper. They are not punched at all so it would be a matter of carefully cutting them out. Not that I intend to do that because they look really pretty in the books.
      I hope you are enjoying a good week. It’s really cold here today – crazy considering it should be mid summer.

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  13. I loved your paper dolls and hope you share more of you collection. I used to love paper dolls, and still like to look at them on blog here and there. I only have a few WWII reproductions that I keep thinking I'll do a post about.

    It must have been so much fun to be in London around the time Charles and Diana were married. I don't have any special memories of their wedding, but I have a very vivid memory of her death - which was just so shocking.

    I was in London with my Kiddo for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, which was lots of fun and I still have the t-shirt with all the participating pubs listed on the back. I know what you mean about the time going by so fast, when I look at the photos from that trip and see how young Allison was back then. But I do love the photo of you and your then young son.

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    1. Hello Alex, I don’t have many more but there is one special one I want to share when I get a chance. I would love to see the ones you have and hope you do a post.

      We woke up early that morning, sat down for breakfast and heard the first reports of an accident. Half an hour later, they were reporting her death. It was shocking and very, very sad.

      Maybe you could also do a post about your trip to London? Look at that you’ve got two ideas to think about now. :)

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  14. I would have just loved the Dress from Many Lands paper dolls as a child!! I actually bought the Chuck and Di Have a Baby paper dolls for my daughter which she loved. Of course we watched the Royal wedding on TV over in Canada. Later I took my daughter to Kensington Palace to see the gorgeous wedding dress on display. She talks about it to this day.

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    1. Dresses from Many Lands is lovely Darlene, and I think the child in you would still like it. I bought my copy of Chuck and Di some time after the wedding, and of course I’ve left it as it is, but sometimes I’m very tempted to have a play! I saw Di’s dress at Kensington Palace too. It's funny to think we could have been there at the same time.

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    2. It was late August 1989 when I took Marcelle to see the dress. We could very well have been there at the same time.

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  15. Ooh, I didn't realize there were Chuck and Di paper dolls. How fun!
    What a wonderful pic of you and your son.
    This, as always, was a great post, Barbara!

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    1. They are fun Sandra, and I would really like to cut them out and dress them up! It would be nice to be a child again, if only for an hour or two. Thank you for your kind words and your visit, I really appreciate it.

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  16. Hi Barbara I used to cut out paper dolls from some of my mum's old American magazines , Don't know what happened to them. Your paper doll's are lovely.
    I do remember the royal wedding. My gosh is it really 36 years ago. Seems like it was all yesterday. I was working then and there was such a lot of excitement. I remember being glued to the television the whole day. How time flies!!

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    1. Hi Shashi, I did exactly the same thing only they were from my granny Daisy’s magazines. I hope to share a little about them one of these days.
      We were all glued to the television too, and it was the main topic of conversation for days (before and after). They were exciting times, and it’s difficult to imagine how long ago it was.

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  17. Was it really thirty-six years ago? I remember a friend of mine getting up super early to watch the wedding in real time. Never a morning person I was not that dedicated but I did watch it that evening after school.

    Time really does fly!

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    1. Hi Sharon, it doesn’t seem possible, but it really was all that time ago. I bet everyone was talking about it school the next day!

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  18. Wonderful memories. And your pic with your son is lovely.

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    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the memories. Thanks for visiting.

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  19. I guess the Charles And Di dolls didn't have outfits for their divorce! Tragic the way things turned out though. I remember watching the wedding on TV.

    Those paper dolls are so detailed. Lovely.

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    1. Now that would have made for a controversial book! It might even have persuaded Di to give Charles a wide berth, and that would have been a blessing for all concerned – except her boys of course. :)

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  20. LOVE this post! Paper dolls are still among my favorite things to play with. I so agree about the "magic wand". I recently pasted my paper dolls' clothes to sheets of paper- drew around the dresses, added my own tabs, and cut them out again. Some of us never grow up! I can play with all of my versions of "Magic Mary" paper dolls now. I have the Chuck and Di set and some really lovely ones of Princess Diana. Thank you for brightening my week, Barbara!

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    1. Hello Colleen, saying about pasting your dolls’ clothes to sheets of paper just gave me an idea. I can photocopy the pages and then cut them out thereby leaving the books intact. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to grow up! :-) Have a lovely rest of the week.

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  21. My mom bought my daughter a set of paper dolls with clothing from the late 1800's and I found them absolutely fascinating. My daughter thought all the dresses were gorgeous, and I had to agree. Sometimes I wish we could get back to some of the more elegant fashions.

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    1. Hello Crystal, how lovely I don’t have any from that era, but I’m sure I would love them. I’m with you on going back to more elegant fashions, but my ideal time would be the late 1930s and early 1940s. It seems to me the time of ‘make do and mend’ was one of the most elegant. There could be a lesson in that.

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  22. Ah, paper dolls. How I loved them as a child. My mother had a magazine called McCall's and there was always an outfit for Betsy McCall. http://www.thebleudoor.com/betsymccallhome.htm I wonder if any little ones play with paper dolls today. It seems such a quiet occupation.

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    1. Hello Nan, I loved (love) them too. Thanks for the link I’m going over to take a look as soon as I’ve left this reply. I think some little girls play with paper dolls because you can still buy them, but they are a bit more ‘high tech’ these days.

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  23. The 80's were the happiest decade of my life. Came out the Marines so people stopped trying to shoot me. Went to Monte Carlo, met the woman I married and had a great time. I wish I could go back.

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    1. Hi Roger, our ‘best years’ were the 90s, but we have fond memories of the 80s too. I’m very glad you got out of the Marines in one piece and found the woman of your dreams – now you have a daughter, and a couple of horse's your life must be complete. :-)

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  24. How do our kids grow up so quickly, especially when we don't age?
    Grin

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    1. I've not aged a day Sandra, and I'm quite sure the same is true for you. ;-)

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  25. Barbara what a wonderful post!!! I love the paper dolls, especially the ones of the Royal Wedding!! Great picture of you and your son!! I remember that day so well, watching the t.v and being so excited!!! Big Hugs!

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    1. It seems many of us have similar memories from the day. The excitement is the thing I remember the most, that and a full day spent in front of the TV. grin. Have a lovely weekend.

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  26. Another lovely post, I used to love these paper dolls.

    What a great photo you've shared of you and your son. Photographs are so special and I know many store them on a computer but to me you can't beat holding the real thing in your hand.

    I have to agree times are changing quicker than ever before ... and not always for the better!

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hello Jan, I don’t know about you, but I want things to slow down a bit! It’s like being on a merry gown round which is getting faster and faster. Sometimes I just want to shout STOP. :)

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  27. We had 'Don't Do It, Di!' badges for the Royal Wedding. I couldn't understand at the time why a girl my age would want to get married to what seemed to me like a stuffy middle-aged man!

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    1. I might have worn one of those badges had I known you then! Looking back at it now I can see we were all so caught up in the excitement of the ‘occasion’ we didn’t really give poor Di a thought. There was a collective gasp when Charles made the quip about “whatever love is” but we put that down to pre wedding nerves, how gullible we all were.

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  28. I couldn't remember if I had commented on here or not Barbara as I have seen a few wee posts with these lately. We couldn't afford barbies or anything like that so for a while these are what we had, amazing the memories they bring back, thank you xxx


    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Hi Lainy,
      Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment.
      I’ve seen a few posts like it too, which is what prompted me to do one.
      They certainly do bring back memories. xx

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  29. Oh gosh, that brought memories back of my sisters and I playing with our paper dolls. I can feel the happiness once more :D)
    That's a lovely photo of you and your son - yes indeed the years do fly by... much to quickly. Imagine if we'd had digital cameras back then!

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    1. That sounds like a lovely memory Sue!
      I wish we had digital cameras when my brother, sister and I were small because we have very few photos of those days.

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  30. Some of the images from the Chuck and Di have a baby book are amusing (such as Thatcher holding a baby bottle). I really enjoy these looks into the past, and remember playing sometimes with dressing dolls as a kid. I really liked it when there were traditional clothes from different cultures.

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    1. That picture always makes me smile! Thanks for coming over.

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  31. I used to love those paper dolls to dress up. Your post brought back lovely memories. Lovely seeing you in London with your son. I was in Germany at the time if the Royal Wedding. Sarah x

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    1. Paper dolls do seem to be universally loved, which is only right and fitting. :)

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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