This week on April 21st Queen Elizabeth II will turn 90 years old, not only is she one of the oldest monarchs to reign over Britain but as of last September, she’s the longest serving monarch in British history. By now you probably know I’m an Anglophile, I love anything to do with England and British history, so this week we are going to take a look at the reign of Elizabeth II from a design perspective. We will look at the clothes she wears as well as accessories, we’ll also take a look at her massive and amazing jewelry collection, I also have posts prepared to look at the beautiful palaces and castles she calls home. So join me this week as we celebrate Queen Elizabeth on her 90th birthday, today we begin with a look at the clothes she wears, the designers behind the hats, dresses and coats and what it takes to keep a Queen looking regal and eye-catching. Enjoy!!!
Dressing The Queen
Dressing The Queen is a book written by Angela Kelly, Kelly is the Queen’s Personal Assistant, Advisor, and Curator, she came to Buckingham Palace in 1994 as one of the Queen’s Dressers. Today Kelly is responsible for seeing after Her Majesty’s wardrobe and jewelry and works very closely with Queen Elizabeth in creating the colorful and stylish wardrobe the monarch is known for. Dressing The Queen literally takes us into the closet of the Queen of England as we enter the Dressers’ Floor in Buckingham Palace where many of the Queen’s ensembles are designed, created and eventually stored. The book shows us how jewelry is picked to coordinate with an outfit, how hats are designed and created, there’s even a section of the room devoted to the colorful umbrellas Queen Elizabeth carries to deal with the fussy British weather. Most of the photos were taken as Queen Elizabeth and her staff prepared to celebrate her 60 years on the British Throne in 2012 with the festivities of the Diamond Jubilee. Join me for a peek between the pages and as always, Enjoy!!!
Designer/Author Angela Kelly working on the cocktail length dress the Queen wore to the Diamond Jubilee Concert in June of 2012. ( via )
Kelly at the far end and the rest of the Dressers preparing the Queen’s clothes. ( via )
Here we see one of the dressers hand-sewing a garment for Her Majesty. ( via )
On the left we see The Queen wearing the gold cocktail dress at the Diamond Jubilee Concert, on the right is the sketch of the dress made by Angela Kelly. ( via )
This is how jewelry is presented to The Queen for her to decide what to wear. In Dressing The Queen, Kelly explains that these presentation trays are special, they once belonged to Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary. The lace covers that go over the jewelry were handsewn by Queen Mary herself and still bear her ‘M’ monogram. ( via )
Above is the sketch of the dress that The Queen wore to open the 2012 London Olympics. Below we can see Her Majesty in the dress accompanied by an aid and James Bond (Daniel Craig), The Queen and 007 famously “jumped” out of a helicopter over the Olympic Stadium to make her entrance. ( above via ) ( below via )
Supposedly The Queen has made the statement, ” I can’t wear beige because nobody would know who I am” in reference to always wearing bright colors. As you can see in this image she has worn a rainbow of colors in the 64 years of her reign. ( via )
There you have a small taste of what it takes to dress the British monarch. Check back later this morning for our second daily post which will be about Windsor Castle.