FASHION FEATURES

The Duke of Edinburgh’s statement fashion looks from over the years

Prince Philip might just have been the royal family’s sartorial dark horse, writes Olivia Petter

Saturday 10 April 2021 16:51
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he Duke of Edinburgh was known for many things, from his philanthropy to his dedication to environmentalism. But one thing the late Prince Philip was not quite as well known for was his sense of style.

In the wake of the Duke’s death on Friday 9 April, Britain has entered into a state of mourning, and many are choosing to take the time to reflect on some of Prince’s greatest sartorial achievements, of which, believe us, there are many.

Whether it was a loose-fitting linen shirt for a polo match in Richmond or a tartan kilt suitable for a gala dinner, the Duke of Edinburgh always managed to look the part wherever he went. And he did so with panache, the kind that takes a full understanding of the complexities of fashion and its ever-changing trend cycle.

He was known for favouring fine tailoring, with his suits mostly made for him by Savile Row tailor John N Kent.

His skills, however, were not simply the way in which he dressed, but with the way each of his outfits were carefully considered so as to maintain a sense of style authority without taking attention away from the Queen.

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Here are some of Prince Philip’s best looks throughout his lifetime.

Prince Philip taking a beer during the chukas whilst umpiring a polo match at Ham Common, Richmond, 1961.

Nothing says summer dressing quite like a checked collared shirt and loose-fitting linen trousers, does it?

Prince Philip offered us all a masterclass in seasonal dressing while umpiring a polo match at Ham Common in Richmond in the 1960s.

Not only was his ensemble the ultimate summer look, he topped it off with some round tortoiseshell shades, which wouldn’t look amiss at any BBQ today.

That, paired with the glass of cold beer in his hand, completes the look.

Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Canada, 1951

This might be one of the Duke’s best looks of all time. He attended a western-themed hoedown held in honour of the Queen at Rideau Hall in Ontario in October 1951 in an ensemble that could not have been more appropriate for the occasion.

Then then-30-year-old Prince donned a pair of loose-fitting denim jeans with a studded belt, a checked collared shirt, and, crucially, a neckerchief.

Balmoral, 1953

This is one of the many occasions on which Prince Philip chose to wear a classic kilt.

The occasion was a family photoshoot at the royal household of Balmoral in Scotland.

Again, never one to miss an opportunity to dress to a theme, Prince Philip donned a green and red tartan kilt with a tweed blazer and a V-neck jumper. His knee-high green socks really complete the look, though.

Prince Philip driving a carriage, UK, 28th May 1975

It’s rare to see a member of the royal family driving a carriage, but it was one of Prince Philip’s favourite pastimes. Here in 1975, that’s exactly what he did. And he sure did dress for the task.

Wearing a brimmed top hat with a single-breasted suit and tie, the Duke completed his dapper look with a pair of white gloves.

The Duke of Beaufort, Prince Edward, Viscount Linley, The Queen and Prince Philip watch cross-country from a farmcart at the Badminton Horse Trials, 1973.

No one does countryside style better than a member of the royal family. Here, in this family shot, Prince Philip almost outshines everyone in his classic barber jacket, tweed trousers combination.

Of course, the Queen does manage to upstage him a little with her silk headscarf, but here is a moment where the Duke proves how versatile his sense of style really was.

Prince Philip wearing the full evening dress of the Royal Scots Greys Regiment at Ford in Midlothian, 1971

Dressed in his glad rags, few did formalwear better than the Duke of Edinburgh, as he demonstrated at the Royal Scots Greys Regiment at Ford in Midlothian in 1971.

The traditional military uniform comprises a scarlet suit jacket (covered in official medals and badges), a crisp white shirt, and black trousers with a red stripe down the side.

It’s a look worn by the Prince with aplomb here as it always was at other formal events where he donned the ensemble.

The then-Princess Elizabeth in the garden of Clarence House with Philip and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne in 1951.

Never one to miss a family photo opp, here, the Prince shows how well he wears a double-breasted tailored suit.

Pairing the grey tailoring with a stiff collared white shirt and a black and green striped tie, it’s a simple but effective look. One that perfectly complements the more relaxed sheer dress worn by the then Princess Elizabeth, who would become Queen one year after this photo was taken.

Prince Charles of Wales with his father Prince Philip of Edinburgh on board a boat, 1955

This could almost be a scene out of James Bond. In this shot, Prince Philip is photographed driving a speed boat alongside his eldest child, Prince Charles, in 1955.

Though the outfit might just be a simple dark jumper and collared shirt combination, the Prince’s original flair is still evident by the simple fact that his top button is undone, indicating that this is an outfit suited to a leisurely occasion. And what could be more leisurely than driving a speed boat with your son?

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, pose at Balmoral Castle, near the village of Crathie in Aberdeenshire, 1972

Another leisurely ensemble here, we see the Prince enjoying a tender moment with his wife while posing on the grounds of Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Wearing a pair of loose-fitting trousers with a collared shirt and a V-neck jumper, the Duke looks happy and relaxed. And his outfit matches his mood.

Prince William, Prince Philip, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on 25 December 2017 in King's Lynn, England.

The Duke’s outerwear was almost always noteworthy, too, with him serving up some big coat energy for this Christmas Day walk with the rest of the royal family in Norfolk in 2017.

The Prince wore an olive green wool coat that grazed his shins over the top of a pair of grey suit trousers.

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