Skip to content

Pratt, Rosalie & Joyce, Nancy
Dame Margot Fonteyn memorabilia (1953-91)

MSS 0154

Biographical Notes

Rosalie Pratt AM (affectionately known as Pratty) was on the nursing staff at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, England, when Dr Roberto Arias, Panamanian diplomat and politician and husband of Dame Margot, was admitted for treatment in June 1964 following an assassination attempt which left him a quadriplegic. The Director of the Centre during this period was Dr (later Sir) Ludwig Guttmann. Rosalie became friends with both “Tito” and Margot and travelled as nurse with the couple to London, the Mediterranean coast of France, and Paris where Fonteyn was dancing Raymonda with Nureyev. After returning to Australia in 1966 Rosalie kept in sporadic touch for some years.

Nancy Joyce OAM also met Dame Margot and “Tito” at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1964 while completing a Diploma course. After her return to the Spinal Unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Nancy renewed contact with Fonteyn at one of her performances with the Australian Ballet in 1971. Dame Margot also visited the Spinal Unit and met with patients and staff.

Contents Listing


Series 1: Memorabilia of Rosalie Pratt

1.1 Note on provenance of the collection by Rosalie Pratt

1.2 Pastel sketch of two dancing teddy bears, plus backing sheet inscribed “To Pratty, Hope you can bear all this love, Margot and R. February 12th 1966. In Oversize envelope

1.3 Folder of photographs of Margot Fonteyn inscribed to Rosalie Pratt; newspaper clippings 1965-1990; photographs of Dame Margot outside National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Bucks, England 1964-1965 and with some staff of the Centre; personal telegram from Marlene and Margotito, 1966

1.4 Newspaper and magazine clippings 1962-1991 re Margot Fonteyn. Extracts from Woman’s Day (Australia), Sydney Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Good Housekeeping, Sunday Express, Daily Telegraph, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sun, Sydney Morning Herald, Sun-Herald, The Times – many related to the shooting and recovery of Dr Roberto Arias and Fonteyn’s life in Panama, plus obituaries In Oversize envelope

A copy of The Art of Margot Fonteyn / photographed by Keith Money (London: Michael Joseph, 1965) and inscribed “To Rosalie affectonately Tito & Margot” has been catalogued separately for the Theatre Collection.

Series 2: Memorabilia of Nancy Joyce

2.1 Note on provenance of the collection by Nancy Joyce

2.2 Letters: 3 letters from Fonteyn to Nancy Joyce

  • July 1967 from Detroit while on tour, mostly regarding the health of Tito
  • Dec. 1971 re Fonteyn’s visit to Royal North Shore Hospital spinal unit. Includes clipping with photograph of Sister Joyce with Fonteyn and spinal patient (from the Italian press)
  • April 1972 from London, acknowledging photographs of her visit to Royal North Shore Hospital

2.3 Photographs

  • 2 photographs of Fonteyn in ballet costume inscribed to Nancy Joyce, presented 1964
  • 4 photographs of visit by Fonteyn to Royal North Shore Hospital spinal unit, September 1971
  • 1972 photograph of portrait of Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann of the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital (ref. Fonteyn's 1972 letter)

2.4 Programmes

  • Margot Fonteyn programmes: Gala performance in aid of Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund (March 1958); Film of the Royal Ballet Romeo & Juliet (1966); Raymonda (Australian Ballet, Sydney season, 1971) with signed poster for guests of the Australian Ballet and card inscribed by Fonteyn to Joyce’s mother; Fonteyn with the Scottish Ballet (Australian and NZ tour 1974) Some in Oversize envelope
  • Other programmes: The Coronation of … Queen Elizabeth II (Westminster Abbey, 1953), Sweeney Todd (York Repertory Co., 1958), Difference of Opinion (Garrick Theatre, London, 1963/64), Messiah / Handel (Royal Choral Society, 1964), The Wings of the Dove (Theatre Royal, Haymarket, 1964)

Cheryl Hoskin
February 2012

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


Phone: +61 8 8313 5224