After graduating college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Professional chocolate taster isn’t plausible and full-time world-traveler doesn’t pay the bills so I joined the Air Force. Coming from a long line of military men, it wasn’t a huge leap for me. Getting used to the uniform was something else entirely. Combat boots, camouflage, hair yanked back into a bun, very little makeup. Not exactly my dream come true as a girly girl, but you do what you have to because unlike others, I was unable to break the rules.
Like the Duchess of Westminster. Born Constance Edwina “Shelagh” Cornwallis-West, she was the first wife of the 2nd Duke of Westminster. When WWI broke out, Shelagh took up the cause as a Red Cross nurse and ran a military hospital in Le Touquet, housed in a local casino. A time of war is no place for expensive furs, glittering jewels, and fancy titles, but as the wounded men poured in her open doors, the Duchess and her friends would often meet them dressed to the 9’s in full evening attire. Tiaras and all. It was probably the last thing these mud-caked boys were expecting, but I’m sure it served as a powerful reminder of the beautiful things left in the world.
Most of all, it should remind everyone that status means nothing when it comes to helping those in need. So, a tip of the tiara to all the ladies (and not just the titled ones) who cast aside their rubies and working girl aprons to scrub bed pans without complaint.
By the way, after four years I hung up my combat boots in favor of much more stylish ones. Still holding out for the tiara though.