Princess Receives Tea During Visit For Christmas

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2012

Had Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, popped in during our low tea, she would have felt right at home. Long dresses. Elegant hats. Dainty biscuits that looked very much like Lorna Doones. And tea, of course, dahling.
Our guest of honor was “Princess Stephanie” of the Virginia colony, a/k/a Cayden Sparks, 3.
Twenty years in the planning, the tea party was a royal success.
It was 20 years ago that I gave Mary a tiny porcelain tea set for Christmas, vowing that one day our granddaughters would have tea parties with her elegant dolls.
Packed away after her death 16 years ago, the dolls and tea set awaited the new generation. With granddaughters now in place, the party was put in motion with their visit for Christmas. I had spotted a fancy flower girl’s dress at my favorite consignment shop in Bixby along with billowing hats for four generations of Sparks ladies.
Little Cayden’s eyes bulged when I opened the doll boxes. I bedecked her in Mary’s jewelry, but in our haste we left the white gloves sitting on the counter.
The princess swept into the room with elegance befitting her title to take tea.
Queen Elizabeth and her royal cousin, Dame Nancy Cherry, affected their best British accents and schooled Cayden in sticking out her pinky finger as she sipped tea. The guest of honor’s mother, the Duchess of Round Hill, Susan, and great-grandmother, the Queen Mother Madeleine, enjoyed their biscuits and tea on the finest doll china, manufactured in Germany a generation ago. (Turns out its cheaper on eBay now than it was 20 years ago.)
Each of the guests received one of Mary’s dolls as a companion to the tea. “Princess Stephanie” had all the Lorna Doones she could eat … and marveled at grown-ups acting very, very silly.
Formally dressed Prince Michael and King Papa served, spilling only a little tea as their big, clumsy hands struggled to pour into tiny cups. Prince Paul served as royal photographer …