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Her Majesty’s colourful wardrobe examined in “Our Rainbow Queen”


Did you know that The Queen’s heels are precisely 2.25 inches high, or that she wears one shoulder pad so she’ll look more symmetrical? These and other facts about Her Majesty’s vibrant fashion choices are revealed in Our Rainbow Queen: A Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and Her Colorful Wardrobe.

The book, by British journalist Sali Hughes, was released this spring in the UK but was launched in the United States by Plume on 1 October. It features gorgeous photos of The Queen from her childhood through the present day along with insights on her “deliberate and delightful” wardrobe. It’s handily organised by colour, with each section showcasing photos of the sovereign in that specific shade and details about where she wore each outfit and why.

Photo: Kristin Contino

“Driven by commitment and loyalty, The Queen’s wardrobe choices are part of her leadership; she wears bright colours because she believes it’s her duty to be seen by the people who’ve waited—often in the wet and cold—behind barriers to see her,” Plume said in a press release.

Indeed, her love of cheerful, solid colours ensures she can be seen from a distance, something I can attest to personally when I attended Trooping the Colour on the occasion of The Queen’s 90th birthday. That neon green hat and coat could be seen (literally) from a mile away as she stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

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Hughes shares some interesting tidbits about The Queen’s wardrobe choices and the process of selecting them, such as how her personal advisor and designer Angela Kelly weather-tests items using a high-powered fan to mimic strong winds. Everything from the handle drop of The Queen’s Launer handbags to the number of times she wears a hat in public before it’s retired (10, in case you’re wondering) is examined in this charming book.

Photo: Kristin Contino

Whilst Our Rainbow Queen is more of a gift book than a comprehensive tome, its rainbow-hued cover makes it perfect to display on your coffee table and it’s something you can flip through time and time again.



About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. She blogs about royal fashion and travel at royallybroke.com. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.