Fashion royalty: 60 years of the Queen's wardrobe
From primrose yellow day coats to voluminous couture ballgowns, silk headscarves to jaunty turbans, the Queen is a very particular style icon. Rebecca Gonsalves looks at her wardrobe over 60 years on the throne
The utilitarian elements of the suit and sturdy shoes are given a touch of majesty by the addition of pearl jewellery and a slick of deep red lipstick. The nipped-in waist and boxy shape of this ensemble are remnants of the prevailing style of the Forties.
The pintucked bodice and pleated chiffon skirt of this green dress – a colour favoured on this trip – worn in Melbourne are so classically elegant that the style would not look out of place at a formal occasion today.
Seen here leaving a state banquet during a tour of the Commonwealth which encompassed 44,000 miles, the Queen appears to be channelling Eliza Doolittle's "I could have danced all night" moment from My Fair Lady. One of many ballgowns worn during the trip, this one-shoulder gown was created by Norman Hartnell, the royal couturier famously responsible for her Coronation and wedding outfits. Gold lamé is overlaid with lace and embroidered with gold thread in this exquisite creation.
The Queen has long been one for a glamorous headpiece, as this polka-dotted turban attests, and yellow has also been a repeating theme in the royal's wardrobe, though now a softer shade of primrose is favoured over the bold hue shown on her first visit to Mexico. Never shy of experimenting with bold colours and patterns, her couturier Stewart Parvin recently revealed that this was not only to ensure that she stands out from the crowd but to make her appear taller.
There is a well-documented family affection for equestrian pursuits, and attendance at events such as Ascot are more formal affairs which demand a suitably proper outfit. However, as a spectator at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Queen is able to return to the traditional country style which has served her well over many years in repose at her different country estates. A bright lipsticked smile reinforces her femininity and cheer.
At the wedding of her granddaughter Zara Phillips the Queen wore an apricot wool coat in a style she has favoured for formal daytime events for many years, with a matching silk patterned dress by Stewart Parvin.
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