A look at Queen Elizabeth II’s style through the decades

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II holds on to her hat in large winds as she arrives for a go to to RAF Valley, Anglesey, Wales on April 1, 2011. (AP Image/Christopher Furlong, File)

Queen Elizabeth II just could possibly have the most difficult working wardrobe on the earth.

“Every outfit worn in public is diligently calibrated to inspire or remind, to signal gratitude or regard, to convey a perception of electricity or familiarity,” wrote The Mail on Sunday in 2015. “Her Majesty neither sets traits nor follows them – but when she is deaf to the siren contact of fashion, she has her individual singular design.”

From her tiaras, hats and Hermes scarves to her Launer London handbags and even her umbrellas, the queen’s design and style has been hyper-documented because her beginning, young princess days, ascension to the throne and now, more than 70 many years into her reign, as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee later this week at age 96.

Now known for her dazzling coats (so as to be witnessed by substantial crowds) with matching brimmed hats, the queen was a youthful, glamorous princess and monarch in before many years.

Some highlights of the queen’s design by the years:


Cotton or wool? The queen’s incredibly birth prompted type discussion, writes Bethan Holt, manner editor of The Telegraph and creator of this year’s “The Queen: 70 Yrs of Majestic Style.”

Her wardrobe from the get-go was a matter of nationwide fascination with a layette sewn by her mother and grandmother, and a minimal help from underprivileged women of all ages in the course of Britain. Declaring that toddlers in wool seemed like “little gnomes,” Lilibet’s mum, then the Duchess of York, opted for frilly cotton, rejecting nearly anything way too fussy.

When sister Margaret arrived along four yrs later, the princesses normally twinned it, dressing alike into their teens. But the foreseeable future queen as a girl “never cared a fig” about apparel, in accordance to her former governess, Marion Crawford.

“She wore what she was explained to devoid of argument, apart from a extended, drab mackintosh that she loathed,” Crawford wrote in her controversial memoir, “The Tiny Princesses.”


With the tumultuous abdication of her uncle and the increase of her father to develop into King George VI, Princess Elizabeth turned heiress presumptive (absent any long run male heir, who hardly ever materialized).

Enter couturier Norman Hartnell, in accordance to Holt. Whilst there have been other designers, he was entrusted with dressing the loved ones as they emerged on the environment stage, which includes the two princesses at ages 11 and 6. Their “bow-adorned dresses and small cloaks signalled a return to the quiet dependability of the monarchy,” Holt wrote.

Throughout Planet War II, 18-calendar year-previous Elizabeth started to make more public appearances, education as a mechanic in early 1945 towards the stop of the war. It was the only time she routinely wore trousers (and boiler satisfies), according to Holt.

The queen was, and stays, a realistic dresser when important, but also glamorous in sparkly robes when the moment beckoned. And she frequently went small sleeved or with no sleeves at all, a thing that doesn’t take place right now. She stood for pics with Prince Philip in a straightforward, light-coloured costume with sleeves higher than the elbow and peekaboo very low heels on her size 4 (6 U.S.) ft shortly ahead of their marriage ceremony in 1947.

“People want to see their royals looking like royals, but similarly, they really don’t want to consider that taxpayers’ income is remaining blown away,” said Nick Bullen, editor in main of Correct Royalty Tv.

THE Marriage ceremony Gown

Caroline de Guitaut, curator of The Royal Selection, arranges the marriage dress of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace in London on July 27, 2007. On Nov. 20 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated 60 many years of marriage. (AP Picture/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Hartnell transformed the florals of Botticelli’s “Primavera” into a gown of white crystals and pearls. But it was not effortless. There have been diplomatic inquiries in the nevertheless-depressing aftermath of the war, Holt wrote. Customs impounded 10,000 seed pearls from the U.S., and journalists have been assured that the origins of the silk developed in Kent and woven in Essex have been worms from “nationalist” China rather than “enemy” Japan.

1000’s in the U.K. sent in their ration discount coupons for Princess Elizabeth to use for gown materials. That would have been unlawful, so she saved up her have and questioned the government for 200 further, Holt told The Involved Push.

“It confirmed the thirst there was in the state for this massive moment of glamour,” she claimed. “In modern yrs, we have identified the queen and Prince Philip as this sweet old few but we have to try to remember, in that time they have been this stunning, glamorous new few on the scene.”

The marriage was not without the need of at the rear of-the-scenes drama. Queen Mary’s Fringe tiara, built by Elizabeth’s grandmother from a necklace given to Mary by Queen Victoria, snapped appropriate in advance of the ceremony and was rushed off to crown jeweler Garrard for repair.

The gown, and the wedding, supplied “a true minute of hope,” Holt stated.


She settled decades ago on skirts and dresses just under the knee, but her hemlines ended up at times an problem for senior customers of her family. In 1952, the 25-year-aged queen led her relatives in mourning at her father’s funeral in accordance to strict costume codes established out throughout the reign of Queen Victoria, according to Holt.

As Queen Mary curtsied to her granddaughter and kissed every single cheek, she admonished: “Lilibet, your skirts are a great deal much too quick for mourning,” Holt writes. The new queen’s gown hovered nicely over her ankles nonetheless respectfully down below the knee, even though that of her grandmother attained the floor. All, such as Queen Elizabeth II, have been shrouded in black veils, as Queen Victoria was for 40 many years immediately after the demise of Prince Albert in 1861.

“The evolution of the queen’s fashion from young princess to longest-serving monarch in British record has her becoming of the time but not following fashion,” Bullen claimed.

Acquiring A UNIFORM

The queen we know nowadays wears wise block heels or brogues, commonly handmade by Anello & Davide, a personalized Launer perched on her arm and a brooch on one particular shoulder. She goes with kilts and skirts in tartans and plaids as her state design. But the queen of the early 1950s charmed the world in nipped-in waists, pencil silhouettes and some floaty, entire experiments as a put up-war style quake took hold in the region.

“In the early years of her reign, she really embraced Dior’s New Glimpse aesthetic, and gals appeared to her outfits as a resource of inspiration, significantly like people do with the Duchess of Cambridge right now,” mentioned Kristin Contino, design and style reporter for Web site Six.

There was a playful glamour in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, like a bold multicolored night costume in 1999 for a Royal Assortment General performance. Designed by Karl-Ludwig Rehse, it showcased a riotous sequin diamond-sample bodice of brilliant yellow, blue, environmentally friendly and pink.

There were also some trouser days and a turban period in the `60s and ’70s amid a huge selection of hat designs.

The queen learned of her father’s passing on a halt in Kenya en route to Australia. Some reports point out she was wearing jeans for an face with a herd of elephants the moment her father died in his sleep at Sandringham, Holt wrote. She donned slacks on safari in Zambia in 1979, and a trouser set in 2003 as she left King Edward VIII medical center in London following a knee operation.

It was Margaret, the rebel, who was renowned as a style plate in Dior and other designers, and her affect on Elizabeth was tangible. Very little sister served the queen scout new British designers and introduced her to up-and-comers, these types of as milliner Simone Mirman, in accordance to Holt. Mirman designed some of the queen’s standout hats, together with her Tudor-design and style “medieval helmet,” as Hartnell known as it, in comfortable yellow, for the 1969 investiture of Prince Charles.

“Margaret was genuinely in tune with trend. She would have been the one reading Vogue. And so she would typically go with the queen to appointments to assist her inject that minimal little bit of further design into her looks,” Holt reported.

Usually sticking to British designers, the queen has a long-held fondness for silk scarves by the French vogue property Hermes. The manufacturer has issued a number of particular patterns in her honor. It did so in 2016 with a horse-themed scarf to mark her 90th birthday.

One particular does not equate the queen of now with a mad hurry to duplicate her model, but for a short spell in the 1950s gals could do just that thanks to her really like of cotton dresses in dainty floral or summary prints from Horrockses Fashions, a British prepared-to-wear manufacturer, Holt stated.

Another search from those people early several years stands out as nicely. In October 1952, before long right after ascending the throne, the queen was a feeling at the Empire Theatre for a royal viewing of the musical comedy “Because You’re Mine.” She wore a tuxedo-like Hartnell gown in black with a white entrance and large lapels in a halter design and style, paired with lengthy white gloves, a tiara on her head and a diamond bracelet on just one wrist.

She strike each individual journal and newspaper the next day. Producers rushed to copy it. It was dubbed the Magpie and she by no means wore it once more.


The queen loves to shade coordinate, sticking to vibrant colours and pastels in coats and floral attire right now.

That goes for her signature apparent, fowl-cage umbrellas as very well. They’re designed by Fulton Umbrellas and are attainable at $30 or significantly less, however the queen’s are customized designed. She owns about 100 in a rainbow of colors but opposite to reports, she doesn’t have 200 of her preferred Launer bags, Holt claimed. Gerald Bodmer, who rescued Launer in 1981 right after a interval of drop, was eager to clear up that myth.

“He says she has quite a few kinds in a number of shades. He says that 200 is really much off the mark,” Holt reported.

Launer extends the straps of her leather-based luggage to make it much easier for her to dangle them on her arm, and they make them lighter for her to carry. And what does she carry? Bullen said he’s listened to there’s generally a lipstick, a handkerchief and a picture of Prince Philip, who died previous year at 99.

Irish designer Paul Costelloe, who dressed Princess Diana in the 1980s and ’90s, explained to the AP of the queen’s type: “She’s a little bit like a schoolteacher, a excellent schoolteacher. She in no way shocks. She will get it appropriate.”