She recently celebrated her sapphire jubilee, marking 65 years as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She’s our longest-serving monarch — and what an outstanding job she’s done, leading the country with grace, duty and dignity.
Throughout her reign, her impeccable fashion has gained much attention. Looking polished to perfection at each and every royal engagement, she’s left many of us wondering just how does she do it?
Wonder no more — we share some of the style secrets that keep her majesty looking so effortlessly sophisticated.
The Great British Weather
As we all know, the weather in Great Britain is interchangeable — what starts as a lovely day can easily end with wind and rain. During her many royal appointments, which often take place outside, it’s important that the Queen’s wardrobe is up to the job.
Before she wears any dress or coat, her team tests their fabric using electrical fans. Helping to establish how the material would move in a breeze, small curtain weights are then sewn into the hem to give the fabric more weight where required.
Of course, the chance of a sudden downpour is not uncommon in the UK. The Queen’s umbrella of choice is a birdcage-style, clear umbrella created by Royal Warrant holders, Fulton Umbrellas. The umbrellas have to be transparent, so crowds can see her.
Each of the bespoke umbrellas are perfectly matched to the colours the queen will be wearing. Ahead of an event, her majesty’s senior dresser will send a colour swatch, which Fulton Umbrellas then use to create an umbrella with a perfectly colour-matched trim.
Colour by occasion
She’s been spotted in a rainbow of colours over the years — but did you know each colour has been carefully chosen, taking into account the event it’s for? Colours are chosen to reflect the nature of the event — for example, for her Diamond Jubilee concert, she wore gold influenced by the Queen Victoria Memorial statue the stage was built around.
Likewise, colours will also be chosen to avoid blending in. For example, if an appointment is taking place in a park, the queen will very rarely wear green, as she won’t be as visible to the crowds. In general, bright colours are usually chosen to help her stand out.
The colours the Queen wears are monitored to ensure the same shades aren’t worn too closely together. For example, if she was to wear a lemon yellow dress early in the year, it would be avoided again for several months.
Staying flawless throughout often lengthy royal visits can be difficult, so practicality is at the centre of each of her majesty’s outfits.
Where visits often involve car journeys and long periods of sitting, it’s important that each outfit remains pristinely pressed. A stipulation given to each designer is that the Queen’s outfits must be made from wrinkle-proof material, designed to withstand every royal appointment.
The Queen’s footwear and accessories are similarly practical — her heel height is kept at 2.25 inches to ensure her comfort, while added insoles are often included too. When it comes to handbags, the Queen’s prefers Launer’s Royale and Traviata bags. They are designed with a longer handle so as to not interfere with handshaking or catch on the cuff of her preferred three-quarter length sleeves.
What is inside the handbag is also well thought-out. Weight is carefully considered depending on how long she will be holding it for. Although nobody really knows what’s inside her majesty’s handbag, it’s rumoured to contain reading glasses, mints, a compact mirror, lipstick and a fountain pen. She also only carries cash on a Sunday — and it’s always either a £5 or £10 note that is precisely folded.
Hats are no exception either. Designed by her milliner of choice, Rachel Trevor-Morgan, each hat is designed to not obscure her face. As such, the Queen avoids wide-brimmed hats. Height is also considered to ensure her majesty can easily get out of a vehicle.
With so many royal appointments to attend, it’s difficult to keep track of the outfits the Queen wears. As such, all of the Queen’s dressers keep their own handwritten wardrobe diaries, which keep track of what was worn and for what. While the queen will occasionally wear the same outfit again, it’s on a strict rotational basis to ensure it isn’t worn too closely together.
She makes looking impeccable easy. As her reign continues, we can expect to see more of the looks we love — although now we know the secrets behind them!