Our Favourite Moments From Our Podcast Episode With India Hicks - The Grace Tales

Our Favourite Moments From Our Podcast Episode With India Hicks



If you haven’t yet listened to Episode 5 of the Podcast, featuring India Hicks, you’re missing out on one hell of a story…

From her “very English” upbringing (does it get more English than being Princess Diana’s bridesmaid?) to running away to the Bahamas to start a family, to business failure and self doubt and adoption, hers is a life well-lived. Here are just a few of our favourite moments.

Listen to this episode | Photography: Sarah Wood 


On life in isolation with 5 kids…

Yes, it’s amazing to be at home with the kids. Yes, it’s amazing to be slowing down in some aspects, but also I never been as busy. I ran a substantially sized business for six years and was awake constantly and every minute of my day was orchestrated for me – meeting after meeting, after meeting, after meeting. But my God, what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks between breakfast, lunch, and supper and cooking, washing, ironing, getting them ready and also trying to be on my computer because I do still have some commitments to some work that I’m doing. It’s been absolute mayhem. So there is the slowing down, but there’s also the speeding up. I think the six years of business was nothing compared to what I’ve been through for the past couple of weeks. I’m sure many other people are feeling the same.


On first moving to the Bahamas 25 years ago…

It was at times quite lonely when I first moved here and yes, there was the most incredible world class, pink sand beach at the bottom of my garden. But I missed my family a lot and I was very unsure of myself and what I was doing. So it was an uncertain time.


On how Coronavirus is impacting the Bahamas…

The Bahamian health system is virtually nonexistent, and it would be very difficult for them to cope with a pandemic like this. And secondly, there are a lot of people here who do suffer very strongly and badly from diabetes and ill health. And the diet isn’t particularly good. So it’s a nation that could be poised for some tricky times in a pandemic. So I think the government and the prime minister have responded absolutely correctly in the fact that they have now banned the beach. You’re not allowed to leave your home, if you do there has to be a good reason for it. We are by law made to wear masks, much like the rest of the world. The police are stopping everybody at every corner and you have to have a reason to go out. You cannot even walk your dog on the streets. There are days where we can go out and go shopping. Of course the concerns here are, will those boats continue to come, will there be food shortages because we rely on America for our food.


On her childhood and expectations…

I was brought up in a certain way and certain time and it was still of the age where not a lot was really expected of a girl. God, that does make me old. And so I sort of drifted through school, and had my ups and downs. One moment I was written up as head girl material, next I was sent home for having boys in my room. So, it was up and down. And when I came out from school, I suddenly said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to do something (with my life)’.


On self doubt and parenthood…

I have five children, they’re all incredibly different, they’re very strong characters, and each one of them presents its own case of having to parent in a different way. And there are terrible moments of self doubt in parenting, as there probably should be. If we were getting it right all the time, we wouldn’t be doing our job.


On her relationship with her mother…

There are many, many things in my life that I feel incredibly blessed about. But my relationship with my mother is certainly one of the top. And it’s interesting because when I was younger I was brought up by nannies, and I was in a nursery, and I didn’t see an awful lot of my mother. She traveled a lot with my father and it was a very English upbringing – the children were seen and not much heard, and actually not always that seen. But we really bonded when I was in my teens. She then stopped traveling and she really spent time with me. My brother and sister were closer in age, and my father was a whirling dervish and traveled the world and had a very exciting dynamic and buoyant life. And my mother decided that really she wanted to stay at home, read books and ride horses. And I was very much a country girl. And so we did that together.

And I think because my brother and sister did a lot also together, it was sort of my mother and I, and so we were lucky in that respect. We also shared the same sense of humor. So we were just very lucky to be able to find each other, not just as mother and daughter, but I think also as friends.


On being Princess Diana’s bridesmaid…

It was fun. Although I felt that I had a very serious job, because I had to get that bloody veil inside that carriage and out again. And a 25 foot train, no bride I think has ever walked down that cathedral, that long, with that length of train. So that was all new. And we’d had several rehearsals with her, with the dust cloth tied behind her waist as we have practiced, but nobody tried it with the actual fabric. And of course it was that beautiful silk taffeta. So when it came out of that carriage, there were some gasps of horror as we realised just how creased that train was. But when you’re standing on the steps of the cathedral and you have the British public cheering in excitement, and you have the household cavalry standing there trumpeting, and you have the Lord Chamberlain waiting at the top of the steps, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is about to marry you… it’s pretty sensational. People didn’t really focus on a crushed train.


On writing books…

I love to write, but I’m very dyslexic and my spelling and grammar is appalling. And anybody who might spend any time either online or on any of my social media accounts will see my appalling spelling, so you definitely know it’s me writing. Luckily I have a very patient editor who goes through it before they’re published in actual book format. We’re not curing cancer here, but I do love to write and the books have been fun to do and I like to be able to share ideas.


On the closure of her business, and failure…

I thought it was a failure, because it was an idea that was unrealised, and it was a risk that hadn’t matured and it was a chapter coming to an end. And all of that probably amounts to ‘it didn’t work’, and when something doesn’t work, it is a failure. It wasn’t about the commercial loss, it was that I wanted the idea to flourish. I really wanted women running their own businesses on their own terms. But we healed from that and we learn from that. And my understanding is that the entrepreneurial journey is about picking yourself up and moving forward. And so I think it was the initial weeks afterwards, I was feeling, what now do I do with myself?


On not having one true passion or calling…

There are times where I worried in the past did I not have one clear voice? Was there not one distinct path? And there isn’t. And I think that’s okay because at the end of the day, I think all of those different strains of my life come to living it to its fullest. And so I would just say to everybody, let your kid paint on the wall, get your mother to tell you about her past life and write it down. Get into the kitchen and try to learn to cook. Get out there and run around the garden or pick up a skipping rope and try and exercise again. Do all of it. Just try and try and live it to its best, I guess.


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