A look back at the style of Queen Elizabeth II over the years.

A look back at the style of Queen Elizabeth II over the years.

Queen Elizabeth II may have the most difficult-working wardrobe on the planet.

The Mail wrote Sunday, February 15, 2015, that “every outfit worn in public is carefully calibrated in order to inspire or remind, signal gratitude or respect to signal power or familiarity.” “Her Majesty does not set trends or follow them — but she has her own unique style.”

The queen’s fashion choices include tiaras and Hermes scarves as well as hats and Hermes scarves. She also owns Launer London handbags as well as umbrellas.

The queen is now well-known for the bright coats that allow her to be seen by large crowds. In earlier decades, she was a young princess and monarch.

Here are some highlights from the Queen’s style throughout the years



Wool or cotton? The queen’s birth has sparked style debates, writes Bethan Holt (fashion editor at The Telegraph, and author of “The Queen: 70 years of Majestic Style”).

From the beginning, her wardrobe was a national obsession. She had a layette made by her grandmother and mother, with some help from women from low-income backgrounds in Britain. Lilibet’s mother, the Duchess, was adamant that wool babies looked like “little Gnomes”. She opted for frilly cotton and rejected anything too fussy.

Four years later, sister Margaret arrived and the sisters often wore identical clothes into their teens. Marion Crawford, Marion Crawford’s former governess, said that the future queen was a girl who “never cared a bit” about clothes.

Crawford’s controversial memoir “The Little Princesses” stated that “She wore whatever she was told without any argument.”


After the turbulent abdication of her uncle, and the rise to power of her father, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth was made heiress presumptive (absent any male heirs, which never happened).

According to Holt, Norman Hartnell is the couturier. Although there were many other designers, Hartnell was responsible for dressing the family, including the princesses aged 11 and 6. Holt wrote that their “bow-adorned dresses, little cloaks signaled a return to calm dependability of monarchy.”

Elizabeth, 18, began making more public appearances during World War II. She was a mechanic at the time and trained in the early 1950s. Holt says that it was the only occasion she wore pants (and boiler suits) regularly.

The queen was and is a practical dresser, but she also wore glamorous gowns whenever the opportunity presented itself. She often wore short sleeves or no sleeves, which is not something you see today. Shortly before her wedding, in 1947, she wore a light-colored, simple dress with sleeves above her elbows and pointed heels on her size 4 (6 U.S.).

Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, stated that people want their royals to look like royalty, but they also don’t want taxpayers’ money being wasted.


Hartnell transformed Botticelli’s florals into a gown made of pearls and white crystals. It wasn’t an easy task. Holt said that there were still many diplomatic questions after the war. Customs confiscated 10,000 seed pearls from America. Journalists were informed that silk woven in Essex and Kent was made from worms from China, not Japan.

Many people from the U.K. submitted their ration coupons to Princess Elizabeth for use in making dresses. Holt explained to The Associated Press that this would have been illegal. She saved her own money and requested 200 more from the government.

She said, “It was a sign of the country’s thirst for big moments of glamour.” “In recent years we have known the queen, Prince Philip, as this sweet old couple, but we must remember that in those days they were this dazzling and glamorous new couple on stage.”

The behind-the-scenes drama was a part of the wedding. Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara, which Elizabeth’s grandmother made from a necklace that Queen Victoria gave to Mary, was snapped just before the ceremony. It was then rushed to Garrard, crown jeweler, for repair.

Holt stated that the dress and the wedding offered “a real moment of hope.”


Although she settled on skirts and dresses below the knee years ago, her hemlines proved to be a problem for her family’s senior members. Holt reports that the queen, aged 25, led her family to mourn her father’s death in 1952 according to the strict dress codes established during Queen Victoria’s reign.

Queen Mary curtsied to her granddaughter, kissing each cheek. Holt wrote: “Lilibet your skirts too short for mourning.” While the new queen’s gown was well above her ankles, it was still below her knees. Her grandmother’s reached the ground in her dress. All except Queen Elizabeth II were covered in black veils for 40 years, after Prince Albert’s death in 1861.

Bullen stated that the evolution of Queen Elizabeth’s style, from young princess to long-serving monarch in British History, has shown her being fashionable but also at the same time.


Today’s queen wore sensible brogues or block heels, often handmade by Anello & Davide. She also wore a custom Launer on her arm and a brooch across one shoulder. In her country style, she wears tartans and plaids kilts, and skirts with tartans and plaids. The queen of the 1950s was a fashion icon who charmed the world with her nipped-in waists, pencil silhouettes, and some full, floaty experiments.

Kristin Contino is a style reporter at Page Six.

In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s there was a playful, glamorous glamour. This included a bold, multicolored evening gown in 1999 for a Royal Variety Performance. It was designed by Karl-Ludwig Rehse and featured a sequin-pattern bodice in bright yellow, green, and pink.

In addition to a variety of hat styles, there were also trouser days in the 1960s and 1970s.

While on her way to Australia, the queen was informed of the death of her father by Holt. Holt reported that she was dressed in jeans when her father died at Sandringham. After knee surgery, she wore slacks while on safari in Zambia in 1979 and a trouser set when she left King Edward VIII Hospital in London in 2003.

Margaret, the rebel, was well-known as a fashion plate at Dior and other designers and had a profound influence on Elizabeth. According to Holt, the queen’s little sister helped her find new British designers. She also introduced her to young milliner Simone Mirman. Mirman designed some of the most distinctive hats for the queen, including the Tudor-style “medieval” helmet, as Hartnell called them, in soft yellow. This was used in 1969 to invest in Prince Charles.

“Margaret was very in tune with fashion. She would have read Vogue. Holt explained that she often went with the queen to appointments to give her a little extra style.

The queen is a stickler for British designers but has a longstanding love for silk scarves made by Hermes, a French fashion house. The brand has created several special designs in her honor. The brand released a scarf featuring a horse motif to celebrate her 90th birthday in 2016.

It’s not easy to associate the queen of today and a rush to imitate her style. But for a brief time in the 1950s, women could copy her style thanks to her love of cotton dresses with delicate floral or abstract prints from Horrockses Fashions (a British ready-to-wear brand), Holt stated.

Another look is also from those early years. Another look from those early years is also noteworthy. In October 1952, shortly after her ascendance to the throne, the queen made a splash at the Empire Theatre. She wore a Hartnell-like Hartnell dress in black with wide lapels and a white front and paired it with long white gloves, a crown on her head, and a diamond bracelet on the other wrist.

The next day, she hit every newspaper and magazine. It was copied quickly by manufacturers. It was nicknamed the Magpie, and she never wore it anymore.


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