Princess Diana’s bridesmaid India Hicks ‘horrified’ at prospect of royal wedding request
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India’s life was detailed in the moving ITV documentary My Years with the Queen, which saw her mother Lady Pamela Hicks discuss her close relationship with Her Majesty and Prince Philip. Pamela herself was a bridesmaid when the Queen and Philip wed in 1947, and in a touching move India was invited by Charles – who is her godfather – to also play a special part in his nuptials with then Lady Diana Spencer. India, 53, and Pamela, 91, both discussed how they were thrust into the royal spotlight by their inclusion at the special weddings.
Writing years before the documentary aired, India recalled the struggle she felt on being asked to be a bridesmaid, and wondering whether she actually wanted to be part of the wedding at all.
At the time of Charles and Diana’s union in 1981, India was just 13 years old, and two years before the ceremony she was left heartbroken after her grandfather Lord Mountbatten and cousin Nicholas were killed in an IRA terror attack.
The loss of her relatives struck young India, who claimed she was given Valium in the aftermath to help her cope with the deaths.
But as she became a teenager, India was poised to take centre stage, in one of the world’s most watched TV occasions.
Princess Diana’s bridesmaid India Hicks ‘horrified’ at prospect of royal wedding request (Image: GETTY)
India Dicks alongside others at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding (Image: GETTY)
She recalled how the wedding – seen globally by an audience of around 750 million – was her “worst hair day ever”, and prior to the event thought “chopping off my waist-length hair was an excellent idea… it was not”.
India noted that when Charles had called to see if she was interested in being a bridesmaid she was “initially horrified”.
Describing herself as a “13-year-old tomboy, never out of jodhpurs”, India was concerned that she would have to wear a dress for the special occasion.
Yet, because Charles was a “remarkable” godfather, she wanted to answer his call, and opted to be part of the wedding.
Writing for the Daily Mail in 2017, India said: “I adored him; still do.
“So, despite my reservations about the dress, I glowed with pride to have been asked, especially as my mother, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, had been a bridesmaid at the wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten in 1947.”
Although the day went off without a hitch for India, she did confess to having “two terrible regrets from that day”, including missing having a piece of the wedding cake.
And in a brilliant twist of fate, decades later India would eventually get her hands on the delicious desert.
India Hicks with her mother Lady Pamela Hicks (Image: GETTY)
She wrote: “However, 30-odd years later, an ardent Diana fan followed me to a speaking event I was giving and pushed through the throng to press into my hand a box and a note. Inside was a piece of that wedding cake, perfectly preserved.
“My second regret was missing the grand ball hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on the evening of the wedding. It was to be my first ball and even though it meant another dress and my toes were crushed from wearing the buttercup yellow shoes all day, I wanted to go.