Fit for a Queen

Our longest serving monarch, HRH Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated her sapphire jubilee, now reigning for 65 years. And hasn’t she done an outstanding job? She has continuously lead her country with duty and dignity.

Not a royal engagement goes by that she doesn’t look impeccably perfect. With such sophisticated style and grace, she leaves us wondering: what are her style secrets?

The Great British Weather
Even the Queen can’t predict when the unreliable weather will strike, so her wardrobe needs to be fit for all seasons at every single royal appointment. As we all well know, what can start off as a sunny, bright day can sharp change into a wet and windy one in Britain.

Believe it or not, before the Queen wears any of her clothes, her team carries out tests on the fabric with electric fans to establish how the fabric moves in the breeze. In some instances, small curtain weights are sewn into the hem of the fabric to achieve the desired movement.

Of course, the Queen can’t be without her umbrella. As the rain can strike at any time, the Queen has bespoke umbrellas made by Royal Warrant holders, Fulton Umbrellas, so that they perfectly match her outfits. Months in advance, Fulton receives a colour swatch of fabric to design the umbrella to match. The Queen’s umbrella of choice is a birdcage-style ladies umbrella. All the umbrellas are clear so that the crowd can see her, but have a perfectly colour matched hem.

Colour by occasion
The Queen is known to have worn an array of colours over the years – always standing out in the crowds. Did you know each colour has been chosen in advance with careful consideration for each occasion? They are chosen to reflect the nature of the event and the location.

For example, for her Diamond Jubilee concert, she wore gold influenced by the Queen Victoria Memorial statue the stage was built around.  And of course, if she was attending an event in a park, she will rarely wear green, as she always needs to be visible to the crowds.

The colours the Queen wears are monitored to ensure the same shades aren’t worn 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.

Perfectly Practical
No matter the occasion or the weather, the Queen manages to stay effortlessly flawless throughout even the lengthiest of royal visits. The practicality of each outfit is essential.

Visits can entail car journeys or long periods of sitting, meaning it is important that each outfit is not prone to creasing. Every outfit must be made from wrinkle-proof fabric to ensure they stay pristinely pressed.

The Queen needs to be able to enter and exit the car with grace and ease so it is important that hat-height is considered. Designed by her milliner of choice, Rachel Trevor-Morgan, she ensures that each of the Queen’s hat do not obscure her face or cause her any trouble getting out of vehicles.

Shoes – most women’s main priority. For the Queen, again practicality is top of the list. The heel height is kept to 2.25 inches to ensure comfort – insoles are often added too.

Bags – what woman is without her handbag? The Queen’s 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. And its contents? We have no evidence what her purse actually contains. But rumour has it she carries 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.

With such a busy social calendar, it can be difficult to keep track of the Queen’s wardrobe – however, all of the Queen’s dressers keep their own handwritten wardrobe diaries, which keep a record of what was worn and for what. It is not often that the Queen will re-wear an outfit and if she does, it is on a strict rotational basis.

She makes looking impeccable look easy and effortless. But as her reign continues, we will continue to look in awe — except now we know some of the style secrets behind looking so fabulous!