How Queen Elizabeth II’s Style Changed Royal Fashion Forever

Queen Elizabeth II was known for her 70 years of unwavering service in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, but she will also be forever remembered for her regal sense of style.

The late monarch, who died on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96, was as much a fashion icon as Princess Diana or Kate Middleton in her early years, inspiring trends and embracing the latest designers of the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. .

An expert in ‘diplomatic dress’, the Queen often wove symbolic elements and colors into her outfits, leading younger royals such as the new Princess of Wales and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, to incorporate similar touches into their own wardrobes.

In addition, many of Her Majesty’s jewels and tiaras – and even a particularly memorable dress – have been shared with other members of the monarchy so that these precious pieces can live on.

In the latest episode of “Royal Roundtable” (and below), we examine the lasting impact of some of the Queen’s most iconic outfits.

Wedding dress (1947)

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress is inspired by Botticelli’s famous painting “Primavera”.
Popper photo via Getty Images

When Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947, she walked down the aisle in a beautiful Norman Hartnell wedding dress covered in 10,000 seed pearls and elaborate embroidery.

Women in the UK were so excited about the wedding that they even sent their own post-World War II ration coupons to the princess so she could send them to the expensive design. As she had to return them, the touching gesture showed how much people cared about the future queen.

Coronation Dress (1953)

Queen Elizabeth II
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953.
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Queen Elizabeth II made sure that her coronation dress reflected her new role not only in the UK, but throughout the Commonwealth. Her heavily embroidered Norman Hartnell short sleeve dress featured national symbols such as English roses, Scottish thistles, Irish shamrocks and Australian wattles.

More than six decades later, Meghan Markle would do the same with her bridal veil, hand-embroidered with flora from every Commonwealth country — along with Wintersweet, which grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace, and the California Poppy, a nod to her native state.

“Lawrence of Arabia” premiere look (1962)

Movie - 'Lawrence of Arabia' Premiere - Odeon, Leicester Square

Her Majesty wore the dress that her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, would later change as a wedding dress to the premiere of “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962.

PA images via Getty Images

The wedding of Princess Beatrice and Mr Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day.

Benjamin Wheeler via Getty Image

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The Queen went with yet another Norman Hartnell design at the glamorous premiere of “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962, and the sleeveless ivory taffeta dress set with diamanté accents would later be given a new lease of life at a royal wedding.

In 2020, Princess Beatrice made her grandmother’s dress her “something borrowed” and “something old” when she made her vows to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at a secret wedding attended by Her Majesty and Prince Philip. Another touching detail was her tiara: the same one the Queen wore for her own wedding in 1947.

At Home in Balmoral (1967)

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen took a country walk in the grounds of Balmoral Castle in 1967.
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Over the years, Her Majesty embraced uniform attire during public engagements, usually featuring a colorful coat with a matching dress (often floral) underneath, and of course a bright hat.

But she also kept to a uniform while off duty, wearing Scottish tartans and English tweeds, waistcoats (she preferred House of Bruar styles), Hunter boots, patterned headscarves and Barbour coats.

A sassy kilt was a favorite of the late monarch, and at times she wore the special Balmoral tartan designed by Prince Albert, her great-great-grandfather.

A visit to Ireland (2011)

Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen wore Irish green for her historic visit in 2011.
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Diplomatic attire became even more important when Her Majesty paid a visit to Ireland in 2011, becoming the first British monarch to visit the country in 100 years (her grandfather, King George V, traveled there in 1911).

Wearing a green Stewart Parvin coat, a matching floral dress and a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat, the Queen sent a message of unity with her outfit — and continued to amaze the crowd by delivering a speech that began with her speaking in Irish. .

During international tours in the years since, both Middleton and Markle have honored host countries by wearing their colors in the same way.

Trooping the Color (2016))

Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
The Queen accompanied members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in her bright green ensemble.
Getty Images

The Queen has meme’d! Her Majesty once said she had to be seen to be believed, and she often wore shockingly bright colors so that her subjects could always see her in a crowd — like Stewart Parvin’s neon green coat and hat she chose for her 90th birthday celebrations in 2016.

The lime outfit immediately went viral on social media – as did the hashtag #neonat90 – with many sharing “green screen” memes. Her Majesty, who was known for her sense of humor, was sure to get a kick out of it.

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