On ‘Royal Fashion Round-up’, we discover the history of certain items of jewellery and clothing, and so the Order of the Garter service this year was no exception. I aim to explain what is worn and their history and purpose for the service, and have a look at those who aren’t Knights, Ladies or otherwise members of the Order.
We shall begin with The Queen’s “outfit” worn for the service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Beneath the garments of The Order of the Garter, The Queen wore a simple white gown with her silver pointed Mary-Jane shoes, seen at many a formal event for Her Majesty, along with white gloves.
The Queen, like the rest of those in the ceremony today, wore the dark blue mantle of the Order. Her Majesty’s however are longer than the others, requiring Page Boys to carry her train. The mantle is lined with white taffeta and has a red velvet hood, and has ornate cords to close it, and white ribbons on the shoulders. The Garter collar, with the Great George as a pendant, is draped over the robe across the shoulders; this is the same chain worn to The State Opening of Parliament.
Her Majesty, as Sovereign of the Order, bears a Garter Star on her mantle, and wears a bonnet, adorned with a white plume of ostrich feathers.
Other members wear the badge of the Order – a St George’s Cross within the Garter surrounded by silver beams. The Garter reads: ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ – shame on him who thinks this evil’, which is the Order’s motto. They too wear the Garter Collar and the bonnet.
Men tend to wear morning dress – or at least part of it - beneath their mantle, and women wear gowns, as seen below on Princess Alexandra, who chose white for the day. In the picture below, you can see the Order’s badge on the left hand-side of the body, as well as the collar and cords.
The Duchess of Cornwall was absent with sinusitis, but The Duchess of Cambridge and Countess of Wessex were in attendance. Kate wore a pale blue Christopher Kane coat-dress with a Lock & Co hat. The coat is in a satin-style material with a belt around the waist. The coat was also worn to a Buckingham Palace reception a few years ago.
The fascinator was a new piece, and was also in an ice-blue; it seems to sweep to the back, with these pieces crossing over, with a bow or something similar on top of it. Her new shoes have been difficult to ID, but there seems to be a degree of certainty that they are from Jimmy Choo in a matte nude.
The Duchess’s earrings are still to be identified, but feature a blue pear-drop stone surrounded by clear stones suspended from a strand of the same. The clutch was from LK Bennett – the ‘Natalie’ straw piece.
Sophie wore a white belted dress with an ostrich feather ruffle around the collar; this was from Bruce Oldfield and was last worn to the Coronation festival in 2013, held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The dress has t-shirt sleeves and falls to the knee.
She also wore a fascinator from Jane Taylor, the same bespoke piece first seen in Edinburgh, and her peach ‘Harley’ shoes from LK Bennett. The Countess held a new white clutch, which is thought to be from Zara.
photo credit: dbking via photopin cc, @QueenVicMirror and @gabeyslave
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