Not many people can say they’ve been to a royal wedding. Even fewer can say they were in the bridal party at one and an official correspondent at another. But, then again, not everyone is India Hicks.
The former model turned author and lifestyle expert was a bridesmaid at godfather Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana, then stepped in front of the camera to provide commentary for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. But was wearing both hats—excuse us, fascinators—an odd feeling? “Actually, I really loved it. I so appreciate it now, having stood on that balcony and seen it from that view, then stood amongst the crazy masses who were so excited with energy and passion,” Hicks told us. “It was really powerful and quite emotional. It was just filled with hope.”
We’re a few weeks removed from the royal wedding when Hicks arrives in Toronto to discuss her new memoir, India Hicks: A Slice of England, which explores her British heritage and how she interpreted her family history and traditions when building her new home. We sat down with Hicks to discuss the book, design and, of course, what she really thought about Meghan and Harry’s big day.
On the inspo behind her new book
“I’ve lived in the Bahamas for 25 years. Whenever we came up to England, we would stay with my mother in the house that I grew up in. I realized I have five children and those tiny children grew into huge, hulking men and my mother’s house was kind of shrinking. So we built a house—which is terribly un-English, you don’t build your house, you inherit your house—and I thought it was kind of a fascinating journey, building a house in England, having lived on an island.”
On approaching the design of her new home
“It looks like a Georgian farmhouse, very befitting to the countryside. I inherited some very strong pieces of furniture from my parents and we built the house around them because I wasn’t going to put them in storage. Literally the sides of the roof and the ceilings were dictated by these pieces of furniture. Then I put fun, quirky little things, like my mother’s swimming caps, to offset the severity and grown-up-ness of these pieces.”
On making compromises with her partner during the design process
“It was a nightmare! You want to throttle each other, because we both care. My mother was married to one of the world’s greatest interior decorators [David Nightingale Hicks] and she didn’t have an opinion, he had all the opinions. That worked brilliantly. David [Flint Wood, Hicks’s partner] and I both have an opinion. Luckily, we share a lot of the same taste, it just kind of worked.”
On the most important room in a home
“A good kitchen is essential. I love to lay the table, I love to entertain. I love our home to feel warm and inviting, where people want to linger and have good conversation.”
On Meghan and Harry’s wedding
“It was spectacular. There were so many moments that felt very intimate and homey and everything that we could all relate to. It was just really remarkable in achieving the unachievable: a new bride from a very different background, different perspective, a modern woman who wants to stand on her own two feet, combined with a family that is steeped in history and tradition and is very unmovable in certain aspects. And yet, it just worked. The magic was all there, the love was all there.”
India Hicks: A Slice of England ($67.50 at chapters.indigo.ca)
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