Today the third Royal Variety performance that Shirley Bassey was on from November 15th 1971. Unfortunately we have no video footage of the Royal Variety Performance from 1965.

Songs: Till Love Touches Your Life, Love Story (Where Do I Begin), Yesterday When I Was Young, For All We Know & Something.

She did a total of 9 Royal Variety Performances.

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According to an article in the Daily Express from November 16th. 1971, Shirley had been on a grapefruit diet to fit into her dress. Stars like Tommy Cooper, Sacha Distel and Bruce Forsyth were searched by the security before they could get in. Only one entrance was open till the moment the Queen and princess Anne arrived. There was a thirty piece choir performing from Korea named “The little angels”. Usually one representative is introduced to the Queen but an exception was made for “The little angels” and they were all able to meet the Queen in person after the show. Everybody thought that “The little angels” and violist Stehane Grapelli were the highlights of the evening until the moment Shirley went on stage (The minute she walked in the joint). It was one of the best Royal Variety shows since years with in the audience lots of celebrities.

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About the dress Shirley wears after the Royal Performance when meeting the Queen,  made in 1950s by Douglas Darnell:

Description: A two-piece evening ensmble: A full-lenght sleeveless gown of ivory silk, the plunging neckline and the back of the bodice richly decorated with Swarovski blue zircon and clear crystals in a foliate design, labelled inside Modele Originel Darnell of London; and matching short jacket with three quater lenght sleeves fastening at the back, similarly decorated at the neckline and -a short-sleeved empire line stage gown of ivory satin, the scoop neck, bodice, sleeves and lower skirt richly embroidered with Swarovski Topaz and clear crystals, black beads and sequins, gold sequins and imitation pearls in Ottoman-style flowerheads.
The empire line gown was worn by Shirley Bassey when she met the Queen after a Royal Variety Performance in 1976.

The dress was sold at Christies Gown Auction in 2003. Final price: £2,800

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  1. Thank you Pieter. I agree with Ian, DSB owned the 70’s. I really enjoyed this archive very much Pieter. What a fabulous Douglas Darnell gown creation. She must have felt like a queen herself wearing such a beautiful design.

    Liked by 4 people

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