Having recently celebrated her sapphire jubilee marking 65 years HRH the Queen, Elizabeth II is 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 sense of style has gained much attention, always looking polished to perfection at each and every royal engagement. She’s left many of us wondering just how does she do it?
We shall ponder no more as here are some of the style secrets that keep her majesty looking so effortlessly sophisticated.
We all know how temperamental the weather in Great Britain is — what starts as a promisingly sunny day can easily end with pouring rain and gales. During her many royal appointments- often taking place outside it’s important that the Queen’s wardrobe is up to the job.
Before she wears any outfit her team tests their fabric using electric fans which helps 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 to save any blushes if caught in a sudden gust of wind.
Of course the chance of a sudden downpour in the UK is high. The Queen’s umbrella of choice is a birdcage-style clear umbrella created by Royal Warrant holders Fulton Umbrellas. A transparent umbrella is essential so that crowds can see her.
Each of the bespoke umbrellas are perfectly matched to the colours of the Queen’s planned outfit. 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.
She’s been spotted in a rainbow of colours over the years, but did you know each colour has been carefully picked to match the event it is for? Colours are chosen to reflect the nature of the event- e.g. for her Diamond Jubilee concert she wore gold influenced by the Queen Victoria Memorial statue that the stage was built around.
Likewise, colours will also be selected to avoid blending in. For example if an appointment is taking place in a park the queen will seldom wear green as she won’t be as visible to the crowds. In general bright colours are favoured to make sure all eyes are on her.
The colours that the Queen wears are monitored to ensure the same shades aren’t worn too closely together so, if she was to wear a bright yellow dress early on in the year then it would be avoided again for several months.
Staying flawless throughout lengthy royal appointments is no mean feat so practicality is at the core of each of her majesty’s outfits.
With visits that involve car journeys and long periods of sitting it’s vital 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 any amount of travelling or sitting down.
The Queen’s footwear and accessories are also incredibly practical. Her heel height is kept at 2.25 inches to ensure maximum comfort, often with added insoles. When it comes to handbags the Queen’s favoursLauner’s Royale and Traviata bags. These are designed with a longer handle so that they don’t interfere with handshaking or catch the cuff of her favoured 3/4 length sleeves.
What is inside the handbag is also meticulously planned. Weight is carefully considered and balanced depending on how long she is expected to be holding it for. Although nobody really knows for sure what the Queen carries in her bag 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 carefully folded!
Hats don’t escape the careful planning either. Designed by her milliner of choice- Rachel Trevor-Morgan, each hat is designed to not obscure her face. This means her majesty avoids wide-brimmed hats and height is restricted 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. To help with this all of the Queen’s dressers keep their own handwritten wardrobe diaries which keep notes on what was worn and for what occasion. While the queen will occasionally wear the same outfit again it’s on a strict rotational basis to ensure it isn’t seen too often.
She makes looking impeccable easy and as her reign continues we can expect to see more of the looks we love- with the additional understanding of what goes on behind the scenes!