A beautiful lace gown newly identified as the only known surviving dress worn by Queen Charlotte, the long-suffering wife of George III, is to go on display for the first time in an exhibition in Bath.Charlotte was never regarded as a fashion leader, and in later life was noted for clinging to the outdated styles of her youth, including voluminous hooped skirts. However, the slender cream empire-line dress was the height of fashion when it was made in the early 19th century, when Charlotte was in her 60s.“This was a very, very expensive dress, and there were very few283期排列三马上要开奖了 women in England who could have afforded it,” said Elly Summers, the curator who identified it as she spent two years cataloguing thousands of pieces of lace in the collection of the Fashion Museum in Bath. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The lace dress. Photograph: Peter Stone/Fashion Museum Bath“It is an unusual gown because it is entirely made of lace – hundreds of strips of the highest quality imported bobbin lace skilfully pieced together – rather than just trimmed with lace.”Summers has been poring through Georgian records and portraits and has established that by 1805, when the dress was made, Charlotte was a more solid figure than the slender woman described to the king in 1761 when he sent an envoy to inspect her in the small German duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.By the later date she had borne 13 living children and suffered years of trauma over the psychotic episodes and periods of virtual imprisonment of her husband. The gown was given to the museum in the 1960s by a family whose ancestor had been given it by the queen – gifts of royal clothing to courtiers and attendants was common practice.The cobwebby gown is so fragile that it has never before been displayed. It has been specially conserved for the exhibition opening at the museum this week.Summers admits the gown has also been gently gathered in slightly to fit a more willowy display model. “The bust in particular would have looked very droopy, so we have given it a more graceful appearance.”She plans further research to trace connections between the family and the court, and still hopes to find an account of the queen wearing the dress.The queen was in Bath to take the waters in 1817 when she learned of the death in childbirth of her granddaughter Charlotte, the only legitimate child of her disliked son, the future George IV, and the baby boy, who would have been next in line to the throne. The disaster, referred to as the triple tragedy because the royal midwife killed himself three months later, unable to bear his feelings of guilt, ultimately led to Victoria becoming queen, after George’s brothers – who had many illegitimate children between them – were ordered to marry and start producing potential successors. The gown will feature in an exhibition covering centuries of fashion in lace, including a lace-trimmed smock made in 1580, the oldest garment in the collection, a Norman Hartnell design worn by the Queen Mother, a Karl Lagerfield dress worn by the supermodel Linda Evangelista, and a Balmain gown worn at a ball in 1953 to celebrate the Queen’s coronation. ? Lace in Fashion, Fashion Museum Bath, 4 February 2017 – 1 January 2018.