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Fashion

The Queen’s Wardrobe Constants


Much like many other areas in her life, the Queen’s wardrobe is quite regimented. We know what to expect from Her Majesty’s fashion. Many royal commentators have speculated on different style “rules” that members of the Royal Family must follow, but none of these have been confirmed. In any case, there are a few standards in Her Majesty’s wardrobe that we see carry throughout. 

The Queen’s handbag is always a focal point when she is at an event. We have long known that she will use her handbag’s position to indicate to her staff when she would like to speak to a different person, or even when she would like to leave the event altogether. The Queen favours Launer handbags and has done for decades. 

Launer London manufactures handbags and other small leather goods, after opening in 1940. First purchased by the Queen Mother in the 1950s, the current Queen received her first Launer handbag from her mother. Launer received their Royal Warrant from The Queen in 1968 and have consistently supplied her handbags since. 

Angela Kelly is Personal Advisor and Senior Dresser to The Queen, and she oversees all aspects of The Queen’s wardrobe. She maintains all of the pieces in the royal wardrobe, from inventorying pieces to having repair and redesign work done. Kelly also actually designs for Her Majesty, as well. 

Kelly has designed some of The Queen’s most famous ensembles, including the yellow dress and coat that she wore to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding. After designing several pieces for Her Majesty, Kelly started her own fashion label, Kelly and Pordum (with dressmaker Alison Pordum). She has published two books on The Queen’s wardrobe and her life at the palace, 2012’s Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe and 2019’s The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser, and the Wardrobe.

Another relatively new addition to The Queen’s wardrobe, she seems to favour Fulton umbrellas. In the late 1980s, the Queen Mother contacted Fulton Umbrellas to look for their clear birdcage style umbrella that had gone out of production. Fulton immediately agreed to supply the Queen Mother with the umbrellas again. 

The Queen started using the clear umbrellas from Fulton herself, as it allows people to see her when out on engagements. Soon after she started using their umbrellas, Fulton began matching the umbrellas to her outfits. The Royal Household will send requests along for different colours via fabric swatch so that they better match her wardrobe. 

Fulton first received their Royal Warrant in 2009, and shortly after, The Queen and Prince Philip visited the factory for a tour. 

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com