HRH Queen Elizabeth II is our longest-serving monarch and she always looks so effortlessly turned out and I have to say sophisticated. I can remember seeing her in all her jubilee celebrations and without fail we watch her annual Christmas Day speech not to mention how great she has been looking the past few months with the many Royal Weddings!
Just how does The Queen continue to look polished to perfection at each royal engagement that she attends? Join us as we shed the light on some of the style secrets that help to keep Her Majesty looking so effortlessly sophisticated…
The art of practicality
It will surely be difficult to remain flawless when some royal visits seem to go on for so long. Therefore, practicality is at the centre of each of Her Majesty’s outfits.
It’s vital that outfits remain pristinely pressed where car journeys and long periods of sitting are required during visits. 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.
Both The Queen’s accessories and footwear are practical too. Her heel height is kept at 2.25 inches to ensure her comfort, for instance, while added insoles are often included too. When it comes to handbags, The Queen 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.
Even what’s found inside Her Majesty’s handbag has quite a bit of planning. 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.
Then there is The Queen’s hats. 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.
It can be tough to keep track of all the outfits worn by Her Majesty, when she has so many royal appointments to head along to. 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.
Factoring in the Great British Weather
We all know how unpredictable the weather across Britain can be. 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.
Electrical fans are therefore used by Her Majesty’s team to test the fabric of any coat or dress before she wears them. 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.
There’s always a chance you’ll get caught in a downpour when heading outside across Britain too. 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, after all, so that crowds can see her. I have to admit to having one of these fantastic umbrellas, I wouldn’t leave home without it if I’m expecting a shower or two!
Whichever bespoke umbrella that Her Majesty chooses for the occasion, it must perfectly match the colours that she will be wearing. Ahead of an event, The Queen’s senior dresser will send a colour swatch, which Fulton Umbrellas then use to create an umbrella with a perfectly colour-matched trim.
More insight into The Queen’s choice of colour
Of course, The Queen has been seen in so many hues over the decades. However, did you know each colour has been carefully chosen, considering the event it is 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 that the stage was built around.
Sometimes, colours may also be picked to avoid Her Majesty blending in with her surroundings. 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.
There is careful monitoring carried out as well to make sure that The Queen doesn’t wear the same shades 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.
The Queen sure does make looking impeccable a simple task. As her reign continues, we can expect to see more of the looks we love — although now we know some of the secrets behind them!