Royal Fashion Round up with Chloe: visits to France

8 June 2014 - 09:00am
Edited by Chloe Howard
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The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, along with The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, followed by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge undertook engagements in France, to commemorate the D-Day landings. Here is a look at all the outfits worn whilst in France, and links are given to all the events throughout the article.

The Queen’s first outfit was worn on the Eurostar over the Channel. It was a white dress coat with a waffle texture; it has 60s style large buttons and two small pockets on the front. She teamed this with a new navy hat, a white bow on the right side. The dress underneath was a patterned number, cream in colour, with a delicate print. Her trusty black patent heels and bag with black gloves were her chosen accessories.

The brooch is a bunch of diamond grapes, held together with a sapphire bow; it was inherited from The Queen Mother’s personal collection.

Arriving in France, The Queen swapped her coat for a short jacket, with wide trim around the neck and plackett in the same patterned fabric as her dress, with dark navy/black piping along it. There are three large buttons on the sleeves, also surrounded by piping.  This photo gives a better look at the dress, which is a delicate floral print. The hat was a perfect match as ever to this style, mirroring the jacket and dress, with small pearls adorning the band.

The brooch was also changed to the Botswana Flower, which seems to be the first public outing for this piece; it is a spray of millet, featuring 11 diamonds. This was presented to The Queen by Festus Mogae, President of Botswana, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.

Another change for Her Majesty saw her arrive at the Arc de Triomphe to a pink number. The suit is pink wool with an embroidered pattern, think cross-hatch meets diamonds. The hat was in an identical material, with a wide, upturned brim, making a more petite piece, perhaps with a 20s feel to it.

The Queen’s brooch was the Williamson brooch, a daffodil (jonquil) flower with a large pink diamond at the centre; the stone was a wedding gift from Dr Williamson, a Canadian who owned a diamond mine, but in 1953 was used by Cartier to make this piece.

The Queen chose nude pink snake-skin heels with bow, an unexpected choice, as Her Majesty usually sticks to her black shoes, teamed with white gloves and a cream bag. For a Garden Party, The Queen made her last change for the day, into a white waffle material faux wrap-style dress, with gold and silver raised dots. On the left side, showing the ‘wrap’ of the dress was satin ruffles. The black shoes and handbag reappeared once more, as did the white gloves. The Queen’s brooch, I believe, is new; a large gold flower that leans to the right with a smaller silver flower beneath. The flowers have contrasting centres.

For another day of remembrance engagements, The Queen wore a bright lime coloured Stewart Parvin coat and Rachel Trevor Morgan hat, two favourites of Her Majesty. The coat had buttons up until halfway down and the hat was embellished with a large lime and yellow unfurling flower on an asymmetric brim. Her brooch was Queen Victoria’s fringe brooch: a central diamond with 12 ‘petals’ of diamonds with nine strands dangling from its bottom-half. It was made with diamonds from the Turkish Sultan for Queen Victoria, and was a favourite of The Queen Mother, and was originally made to sit in the centre beneath the neckline of a dress. 

The Queen removed the coat at one point revealing her cream and green printed dress with pleated neckline, and the brooch was repositioned on the dress; no doubt Her Majesty feels under-dressed without her brooches. The white gloves, black bag and shoes were the finishing touches.

At a state banquet hosted in Her Majesty’s honour, The Queen looked glamorous in a half-embellished gown; the skirt was white chiffon and the top heavily embellished with beading, rising on the one side in an asymmetric line. The sleeves had scalloped edges. She also wore the red Legion of Honour sash, an honour she received from France in the late 1940s. She chose silver shoes and handbag, with white gloves.


The Queen chose two brooches for the occasion; a diamond and ruby bouquet brooch was the one on the front of the sash, a few swirls and sprays of flowers adorned with clear and red stones, once belonging to The Queen Mother. The second was on the back of the sash, near the shoulder; this was the diamond bar brooch, two simple rows of diamonds, useful to hold something like a sash in place, giving the brooch a functional, as well as decorative function. It seems to be the longer of the two (one 10 stones long, the other 14) which is believed to have been made for Queen Mary; the shorter one was Queen Victoria’s and she used it as part of her Garter insignia from around 1848.

This was a tiara occasion, and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara was used once more, a wedding gift for Queen Mary in 1893 and  to Princess Elizabeth in 1947. Her earrings and necklace were the heavily diamond adorned set from Garrard, created for Queen Victoria in 1858, having lost a favourite necklace belonging to Queen Charlotte (consort of George III) to her Hanoverian relatives in inheritance. It has been used for every Queen’s coronation since. The necklace has 25 stones with the Lahore diamond hanging as a pendant, making the total 26. The earrings feature a diamond stud with smaller one beneath and a large pear-drop diamond suspended from it.

For Her Majesty’s final morning of engagements before rushing back to the UK for the Epsom Derby, The Queen opted for a pink skirt suit in a bobble material. The jacket had a band of what appears to be fine lace a few inches from its hem and on the cuffs. The hat has a white cap with the same pink material layer on top, finished with a chiffon flower in the centre. The brooch was a sprig of diamond flowers with yellow centres, which we have little information on, other than noticing its arrival in 2009.

The Duchess of Cornwall chose a dove grey coat dress for her first day of D-Day commemorations, last worn on her tour of Canada. She wore the same blue paisley patterned dress beneath it and the same suede bow pointed heels too. A fold-over snake-skin clutch in a shade of blue-grey was carried. Camilla swapped her ornamental brooch for badges of The Queens Own Rifles however, to mark the occasion, as the regiment took part in D-Day on Juno beach. Here is a photo from the Canadian tour showing the outfit, with the exception of the brooches and the addition of a paisley scarf. A picture was posted to the Royal Central twitter feed, if you wish to see the outfit on the day. 14056558520_5f3a26c5d9_b

Joining the Queen and other Royals for D-Day commemorations, Camilla chose a bespoke (French) Christian Dior cream coat dress with a wide-brimmed Philip Treacy hat. The coat was a full-skirted affair, with a deep v-neck, fastened with only 2 buttons at the waist. The hat was also cream with an elaborate tan coloured bow atop. Her shoes were cream with a tan heel and toe. As a brooch, Camilla wore her father’s cavalry regiment badge, the Lancers, as he fought in WWII, an appropriate remembrance choice for The Duchess. See the pictures above where Camilla is stood next to Her Majesty for the image. 

The Duchess of Cambridge attended a veteran’s tea party with The Duke, and chose her cornflower blue Alexander McQueen peplum coat, worn in New Zealand. She paired it with a  black Lock and Co fascinator, worn to launch The Royal Princess in 2012, her last official engagement before the birth of Prince George, and, on first look, I believed they were Kate’s black suede Prada heels. They are however a pair of Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley, the differences being slight, just the cut of the sides (these are straighter than the Pradas with a slight curve in them).

To see the entire outfit, please see the  picture that Royal Central tweeted. Unlike the picture below, Kate’s hair was only half pulled back beneath her fascinator, and she did not carry a clutch to her engagements, but was seen with her black Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ clutch alighting the plane.

The repeat of this outfit, or lack of a new one, could be that Catherine is so aware of the frenzy that surrounds her fashion choices, she chose what some may consider a boring option i.e. something seen before, so that the focus remained where it should: on the veterans. 13755398064_7207c00899_bPhoto credit: Department of Canadian Heritage and Government House NZ/Woolfe/Crown

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  • RW

    Loved all the Queen’s choices of outfits on her visit to France to commemorate D-Day. I liked the choice colors, cut of each suit or coat dress; the hats and of course her choice of jewelry. HRH looked especially lovely in her white gown with that glittery over blouse which went so well with the tiara and the other pieces she chose that evening for the banquet. Everything she wore on this trip looked fresh and, she simply “sparkled” in everyone. God Bless her.

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