Over her 70-years-reign, Queen Elizabeth II (died Sept.8, 2022) has inspired the world with her iconic style statement. From being a young princess from World War II to ruling Brain for the longest time in its history, Queen Elizabeth has remained Britain’s most enduring dresser of all times.
The late majesty’s style has been transformed during her 7 decades of rule, and court dressers from Norman Hartnell and Harny Amies to senior dresser Angela Kelly took the prime responsibility for the Queen’s exquisite attires. As the world immerses itself in the pain of the queen’s death, here is a throwback to her 15 most memorable fashion looks, because the queen once said: “had to be seen to be believed.”.
The ‘Young Princess’ Days
1. 1946: Chic Silouhettes And Luxe Fabrics
As a young debutante, Queen Elizabeth, who was a princess back in the 40s, knew herself to carry like a queen. Above is a 1946 photo of Elizabeth with Princess Margaret wherein a young Elizabeth can be seen in an elegant silhouette with luxe fabrics. Her curly hairstyle adds more glamour to her simple yet graceful look.
2. The Royal Wedding Gown
When we talk about Queen Elizabeth’s attire, her royal wedding gown remains unforgettable. A masterpiece by the court dresser, Normal Hartnell, made the then-princess stand out in the crowd during her wedding with Prince Philip in 1947.
The speciality of this masterpiece lies in the fact that this gown became a symbol of the “growth and rebirth of England” following the turmoil of World War II. Yes, the gown’s star patterns were inspired by Botticelli’s “Primavera” Renaissance painting, making this gown historical in every sense.
To add to the queen’s glamour, the gown has 10,000 seed pearls and crystals sewn with great intricacy. It was made of ivory silk fabrics and the queen literally collected coupons to pay for it, don’t forget, Britain was undergoing rationing. The tiara, however, belonged to her grandmother.
As The Queen Rises…
3. The Coronation Gown
The mastermind behind making Queen Elizabeth’s coronation day legendary was again the court dresser, Normal Hartnell, who took a year to complete this gown. It took almost six embroiders to work on this piece of art. And, guess what? The queen wasn’t done wearing it once on the big day. She was seen wearing this silk gown during several of her speeches in the 50s.
Made with premium white duchess satin and heavy embroidered latticework design, the 1953 coronation dress has been put on display only three times during her reign of 70 years. The 1953 dress designed by Sir Norman Hartnell has only been put on display three times during the queen’s rule.
It will also be shown alongside a collection of sketches, paintings, historical artefacts, and some of the most stunning royal jewels from her collection. Just before her death, this dress became a part of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Coronation, and is considered the most important dress of the 20th century.
4. Blue Gown And The Jackie Kennedy Drama
The queen wore a blue gown when the first lady of America Jackie Kennedy and John F. Kennedy visited the royal family in 1968, but the moment was a bit of a drama when it was reported that Jackie was unimpressed with the queen’s wardrobe and her old-fashioned hairstyle. But for many in Britain, this royal blue ballgown remains a classic attire.
5. Pink Hues of the 70s
The queen’s style underwent a transformation in the 70s. The queen wore a gorgeous peachy-pink frock for her 25th anniversary as she greeted the commoners on the streets of England. It was reported that designer Hardy Amies was behind this hard work. The dress was made of premium pink silk and chiffon. And how can we not notice that Simone Mirman hat?
6. The Icy Blue Affair…
If you personally ask me, this icy blue shade is one of the most iconic attires of the queen as the shade completely blended into her subtle skin shade. During a dinner at the Governor-General King’s residence in 2002, Queen Elizabeth was photographed wearing a gorgeous Steward Parvin dress accompanied by a sparkling tiara.
The gorgeous icy-blue dress featured intricate embroidery and a tie-up on the waist. She accompanied it with silver footwear, and a clutch and donned some royal diamond jewellery. Well, wasn’t she shining bright in the crowd? Well, the queen always arrives in style.
7. A Stunning Look At 80
With all due respect to our queen, her style statement at 80 was something fashion icons were drooling at. In November 2006, the queen appeared in the House of Lords in a gorgeous body-skimming gown which was nothing less than sparkling.
At the age of 80, the queen was giving a fair display of her fit physique and yea, the fur added more elegance to the legendary queen. Elizabeth carried this dress with some sparking diamonds and her classic royal tiara.
8. The Queen Brings Sunshine
Now, I don’t know of anyone who can carry yellow with such elegance. Well, the queen surely can. During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth never hesitated to play with different colours but managed to carry them all. If you remember Prince William’s wedding, the queen made a style statement with a springy yellow dress from royal designer Angela Kelly. She was seen wearing a matching hat, her classic pearls, white gloves and nude footwear.
The dress featured a matching topper which was prepared with handmade silk roses. Well, she surely brought some warmth, sunshine and happiness to the royal wedding. She even inspired Kate Middleton and other royal members with her choice of yellow in the coming years. Not to mention, Hollywood got its fair share of inspiration from her when it comes to fashion.
9. A Royal Winter
Want a perfect inspiration this winter? Recall this magnificent tonal outfit that the queen wore during morning service on Christmas Day in Norfolk in 2010. From a checkered coat with exquisite furs on the cuffs to a furry hat, the queen looked stunning in this winter attire. Not to mention, the queen’s heeled boots made of premium leather made this a perfect royal affair.
10. A Visit To Zambia
When not on duty, Queen Elizabeth likes to keep it light, something Price Diana would love to do all the time. During her trip to Zambia in 1979, the queen was seen wearing a loose printed silk shirt along with brown trousers, perfect attire for a royal safari.
11. The Balmoral Look
The queen was pictured last year during her stay at her summer residence in Balmoral, Scotland. While pinning the Royal Regiment Of Scotland brooch on the set, the queen looked stunning in a pink dress preceded by a floral one-piece. She complimented her attire with black-coloured leather footwear, white gloves, pearls and a gorgeous hat.
12. The Classic Horse Rider
Now, being a horse rider myself, I can feel how much horses meant to Queen Elizabeth. Her riding attire has been something worth eyeing. This is a picture of Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Windsor Horse show. The queen was wearing camel-coloured breeches, riding boots, a grey-coloured coat and a printed hair scarf. Oh, and you should have seen her riding on horseback.
13. A Bold Orange Look
Another look of the queen which is worth eyeing remains the one which she carried during the launch of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Baton Relay. The launch took place at Buckingham Palace in 2021. Well, the queen certainly appeared in style.
She was pictured wearing a bold orange outfit. She carried a black premium leather handbag and paired the dress with black gloves. Not to mention, pearls have been a mandatory part of the queen’s get-up. But hey, did you check out that gorgeous hat?
14. Bright Green For Her Love
Despite mobility issues, the queen made a very special appearance on the final day of her Platinum jubilee, but again, she ensured to leave a lasting impact with her bright green outfit. And guess what, the colour meant a lot to her late husband.
As a tribute to Prince Philip, queen Elizabeth wore a bright green dress and coat by Stewart Parvin, a colour deeply loved by the Duke of Edinburgh. In addition to this, she also matched her green hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan with a classic black pin, which is considered a symbol of mourning.
15. The Polka Dots Forever
While I may have mentioned the queen’s look in terms of her fashion evolution, I for once would dive back in time to revisit Queen Elizabeth’s attire from her state visit to Mexico. Now, were you under an impression that Catherine Elizabeth Middleton is the inspiration behind those polka dots?
Well, you’re mistaken because the queen has been carrying it since time immemorial. In the above picture, the queen was seen spending time with local children wearing this marigold pleated polka dot dress. She donned a turban-style hat which added to her chic look. And of course, the queen’s favourite pearls to add on to the sophistication.
From delicate hats to a diplomatic taste in the brooch, to experimenting with polka dots to donning classic boots, the queen has given us enough inspiration, not just as a successful monarch, but as a true style icon. While these dresses portray a strong sense of feminity, the queen looked stunning in her military uniform back in those days. Which look inspires you the most?