A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
On September 8th 2022, it was officially announced by Buckingham Palace that Queen Elizabeth II had sadly passed away, marking quite possibly the biggest moment in our living memory. On the eve of Her Majesty's funeral tomorrow, I wanted to pay my own tribute to The Queen. Not only was she a warm, dedicated and tenacious woman and formidable leader of our country, but she also had a fascinating fashion history. Her style has reflected the fashions of each era from the 1940s to the present day, with some truly exquisite and memorable looks. So please join me in my journey through the fantastic fashions of our late, great Queen.
On November 20th 1947, Queen Elizabeth II married The Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey, making her the 10th member of the Royal Family to be married there. Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell who cited Botticelli's Primavera as his inspiration for the beautiful design. The Royal wedding dress was a simple cut with fitted bodice, sweetheart neckline and floor-sweeping panelled skirt. Ration coupons were still in use at this time following World War Two, so Princess Elizabeth had to use clothing rations for her dress. Many hundreds of people from all over the UK sent their ration coupons to the Palace to help her pay for the dress but these were returned with thanks from the family.
This was a beautiful outfit in rich emerald green silk and chiffon, typical of the era. The Queen's accessories were, as always, on point with stunning diamonds, pearls and feathers; with the all-important matching gloves and handbag. This was taken at The Government House in Melbourne during The Queen's Australian tour in 1954.
The classic pearls are of course present again in this fantastic and glamorous outfit worn by The Queen to an evening event with Prince Phillip in London in 1963. The coral taffeta gown with a fitted bodice and floor-sweeping skirt is truly stunning, and the small 1960s silver evening bag is the perfect accessory. This would look just as amazing in 2022 as it did 60 years ago - the epitome of timeless chic as many of The Queen's looks were.
The Queen was known for some amazing brightly coloured outfits, and this has to be one of my favourites. Her Majesty was visiting Mexico in 1975 when this candid photo was taken with some of the local children. The bright canary yellow pleated dress with white polka dots has a matching turban hat and is, of course, accessorised with matching pearls, gloves, handbag and belt.
The 1980s was the decade that The Queen became a grandmother, but this didn't stop the glamour. Here is a stunning seafoam green evening gown with on-trend puffy sleeves and sparkling metallic accessories. This was a 1980 Royal banquet hosted by King Hassan ll in Morocco.
I love the bold floral prints embraced by The Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana in this photograph from the Queen Mother's 90th Birthday celebrations in August 1990. Diana's floral co-ord wouldn't look out of place on ASOS or BooHoo today and The Queen's pretty floral pleated dress is a gorgeous look that can be quite easily emulated with vintage dresses from C&A, St Michael and similar. It is also worn with the double-strand pearls we have seen right the way through the decades - a perfectly timeless accessory.
OK so I may have cheated a little with this one, but it is one of my absolute favourites that The Queen wore. This was November 1999 (so only a few weeks away from the new millennium) at the Royal Variety Performance where The Queen wore this striking multi-coloured sequin top and long gold metallic striped skirt. A fantastic bold colour choice, not for everyone but I love it!
This gorgeous bright cerise combo was worn by The Queen on her visit to Birmingham in 2015. I love the colour and cut of this coat and the fact that the umbrella is tipped in the same vibrant pink. Her Majesty combined this with her trusty black Launer handbag and comfortable but stylish loafer shoes. Pearls still make an appearance as well as this beautiful vintage brooch, encrusted with the best of diamonds.
This is a photograph that we have seen a lot of in the recent newsreels following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. This was the closing of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. She looked absolutely wonderful in this vibrant green dress jacket with white gloves as she stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Her three-strand pearls and matching pearl earrings are still a strong favourite, and this stunning diamond bow brooch once belonged to Queen Victoria.
It was incredibly difficult for me to choose just one iconic look from each decade of The Queen's history as there are so many amazing outfits. There aren't many people who have been dressed and photographed as often as The Queen, or over as many decades. The Queen held such a special place in my heart as she did with so many people all over the world. The outpouring of love and mourning has been so very touching to see over these last 10 days and I am sure her funeral tomorrow will be an incredibly emotional goodbye for us all.
Thank you for everything, Ma'am.
Until next time
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