HomeVera Lin was secretly ordered to sing on Queen’s 16th birthday | Vera Lin

Vera Lin was secretly ordered to sing on Queen’s 16th birthday | Vera Lin

lover of forces Vera Lin, although the artist was supposed to appear in a variety show in London on the same day.

A letter, titled “Confidential” and signed by the BBC’s Director of Variety Reservations, informed Lynn that her services were “required to perform a special command” set by Elizabeth’s father, King George VI. It was addressed to Lane in the Empire, a variety theater in Finsbury Park, North London.

The previously unseen document forms part of an exhibition of Lane’s personal memorabilia, costumes, and paintings, which opens in January at the Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts in East Sussex.

Black velvet dress worn by Vera Lynn in 1952 on the cover of New Musical Express
Black velvet dress worn by Vera Lynn in 1952 for the cover of the New Musical Express. Photography: Sam Moore

And the letter stated: “I demand your creativity to keep this matter confidential, and that it is considered a grave violation of the etiquette of talking about it, or publishing it in the press or elsewhere before that.” actual event.

The letter said it would not be charged any fees for the performance, in the presence of the King, Queen, members of the royal family and “a battalion or so” of the Grenadier Guard, but that the expenses would be paid on “BBC usual scale”.

Lynn, best known for her wartime song We’ll Meet Again and her radio show on BBC Sincerely Yours, appeared at the afternoon party at Windsor Castle alongside Jack Warner – later known as the Dixon of Dock Green – and comedian Tommy Handley. .

When Lynn died last year, at the age of 103, a Queen He was said to be very upset. I sent a special message of condolence to the Lin family.

Vera Lynn sat on a board on an easel in her home in Finchley, London.
Vera Lynn paints at her home in Finchley, London.
Photography: PA Images / Alamy

The exhibition also includes 20 paintings selected from about 300 of Lynn’s artworks and a selection of costumes from her public appearances from the age of 11, including the military-style pants she wore while British troops roamed Burma.

The top tier of Lynn’s wartime cardboard wedding cake has been preserved. “It was a fake cake in a time of austerity, when there was rationing, and assembling the ingredients for a large cake would be nearly impossible,” said Steve Fuller, director of the museum.

Lynn lived in Ditchling for most of her life and was a patron of the museum. “After her death, we were invited home to see what was available for a small show. We found a huge and wonderful collection of memorabilia, awards, correspondence, and clothing – most of which no one outside the family had seen,” Fuller said.