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Spotlight on the Principal

By night

A student from the early 1920s said:

"We all changed for dinner, but were never as resplendent as Chief. The dresses she wore were obviously made especially for her, of some rich, silky material, both soft and unassuming in colour, having short sleeves above the elbow, with skirts that were both long and full to the ankle. With these dresses she always wore a little heavy jewellery, as carefully chosen as the dresses" (RHC/RF/132/8).

Miss Higgins’ personal maid recollects that:

"She had beautiful shoulders. She wore a very fine necklace of carnelians with diamonds surrounding each" (RHC/RF/132/6).

A student who attended Royal Holloway near the end of Miss Higgins’ Principalship reminisced how she always kept to the style of evening dress which she knew best:

"One day as we ‘processed’ from the Principal’s room in West I, through the library and museum to the Dining Hall, Miss Higgins, wearing her familiar ankle-length dress when the fashion was knee-length, explained that fashions would change back again and she did not intend to change back and forth with them!" (RHC/RF/132/6).

A student from the 1920s recalls that:

"She was short and stout…the impression was of a person of strength. The shape of her evening dress was interesting. It wasn’t a crinoline, but it got broader from the waist, rather the shape of the pyramids with the top quarter cut off...The colour was pale which was surprising…rather metallic … It sounds like taffeta, but it was grander than that. I think it had a rather close-fitting bodice" (RHC/RF/132/8) Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image



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