- She provoked a scandal, her tiara broke shortly before the wedding
“I don’t like the word fashion – it passes, but style remains: it is like a tree that renews itself and develops,” says Coco Chanel. Elizabeth II is the most authentic apologist and promulgator of the fashion philosophy popularized by the world dictator of chic. It is no coincidence that the Queen’s clothes speak no less expressively than her exquisitely chosen phrases. Each of her outfits for a public event is emblematic – it reminds, inspires, explains, reveals her attitude towards the interlocutor or the people gathered to welcome her, commented British media. There is no more photographed and more documented wardrobe than that of the monarch who ruled for 70 years. “Her majesty does not set trends, nor does she follow the dictates of designers. But although she does not get excited about the ‘latest screams’, she maintains a unique elegance.”
From tiaras, Hermès hats and scarves, to Launer bags and even umbrellas, everything is photographed in detail – from the day of her birth to her platinum anniversary. Here are some highlights of her style over the years, commented to the Associated Press by fashion editors quoted by BTA.
With cotton or knitted clothes? This is the question. As soon as she came to the white world, the future ruler of the crown and the hearts of her subjects caused a debate, writes Bethan Holt in the British “Telegraph”. What the princess should look like is a topic of almost national debate. Surprisingly, her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Duchess of York, made her a dress. It was the wife of the future King George VI who rejected the possibility that Lilibeth resembled a “little gnome” wrapped in knitting. Thus the lady discovers the correct answer, which also applies to her second daughter, Margaret. The two heiresses have been the same for a long time, even in their teenage years. But Lilibeth never cared what she wore, says her former governess Marion Crawford in her memoirs. “He never argued. The only thing he hated was a long, dark hairdo,” she wrote in her memoir, The Little Princesses. After the dramatic abdication of her uncle – King Edward VIII, who renounced the throne for his love for the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson, and Elizabeth’s father was proclaimed George VI, she totally became the figure that attracts curiosity and attention around the clock . Norman Hartnell is the royal family’s trusted fashion designer, Holt writes. He dresses both princesses, then 11 and 6. Their dresses with little capes are a sign of the monarchy’s calmness and reliability.
During World War II, 18-year-old Elizabeth trained as a mechanic in the British Army. This is the only time she wears pants, Holt commented.
At her wedding, Elizabeth wore a gorgeous extravaganza studded with white crystals, pearls, diamonds, opals, amethysts, in which Norman Hartnell transformed the floral motifs in Botticelli’s Spring painting. But it provoked a diplomatic discussion, says Holt. Customs seize 10,000 pearls from the US, and journalists are confident that the origin of the silk is from “nationalist” China, not “enemy” Japan. It is actually made in Kent and woven in Essex. A horticulturist recently revealed the details on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Tom Dyke showed on air a box of a dead “Bombyx mori” butterfly and its eggs, which are used to create the fluid matter. “My grandmother raised silkworms that produced the ivory satin for the Queen’s pattern. The whole operation took seven weeks and the pattern was priced at £30,000,” Dyke explained. In July 2020, Princess Beatrice got married in a vintage Elizabeth II dress. At her wedding to Italian aristocrat Eduardo Mapelli-Mozzi, she wore a Norman Hartnell dress from 1967. Beatrice is wearing Queen Mary’s tiara, with which Elizabeth was also married. This is the same tiara that breaks minutes before the ceremony and needs to be urgently repaired by the royal jeweler.
Always with a picture of Philip in the bag
Elizabeth is a fan of Anello and David handmade shoes, a personalized Launer bag with handles extended just for her (with lipstick, a handkerchief and a photo of Prince Philip), brooches. She always wears tartan and plaid skirts, dresses just below the knee, but their length proves to be a problem for the older members of the family. In 1952, the 25-year-old Queen still followed the strict Victorian dress code for her father’s funeral.
Shortly after ascending the throne, Elizabeth II became a sensation at the Theater Royal. She is in a black and white dress with wide lapels, paired with long white gloves, a tiara and a diamond bracelet on one wrist. With this look, it logically lands on the pages of every magazine and newspaper and everyone starts copying it.
The mistress holds the accentuated waist and “pencil” silhouette. She can often be seen with short sleeves or no sleeves at all. In the first years of his reign, he was fascinated by “Dior” and inspired his subjects. She even likes to experiment – like the bold multi-colored evening dress in 1999 for the Royal Variety Performance.
In one period, he replaced his iconic hats with a turban.