I have lymphedema, it’s a comparatively uncommon condition which isn’t very nice

Milly & Moss Rich photograph 1940s

Milly & Moss Rich 1940s

I’ve never doubted myself, except when I was very young because I felt that I was fat and I think it felt as shameful to be thought of as fat then as it does now, even though there is no actual shame in being a size – however, society dictates fat is not  acceptable. This is a Valentine Poem Moss wrote me


Anyway, I was very self-conscious about it. I have a chronic condition called lymphatic edema or lymphedema, it’s a comparatively uncommon condition which isn’t very nice, especially for a girl. It means that I have always had very heavy, swollen legs. My legs are dreadful and that has really been a blight, but I’ve never let it hold me back.

When I was a teenager it was difficult but I used to consciously develop the top part of me. To compensate I used to go in for outrageous hats, I had a huge hat collection and would always dress and make up to draw the eye upwards away from what I perceived was my problem area. In the picture I was in my early 30’s

I’ve still got all of my hats, I wore one not long ago when I attended the Queen’s Garden Party with my daughter. I’m not sure why we got an invitation but we did and that was lovely. I have a film of both of us speaking to Princess Michael of Kent. She came over to speak to me to admire my hat, she is a very beautiful lady and likewise I felt very beautiful in my stunning hat.

There is always a way to overcome obstacles in life, just be true to yourself, never doubt yourself and keep smiling.



Milly Rich

Milly was born in 1917 and lives 'in the now' (informed by history). She is a fashion designer, conchologist, company director and inspiration for Waking Beauty Sleep System. Life long beauty? What are your views?