|The Queen in Her Coronation Robes|
|Norman Hartnell, Coronation Dress Sketch|
CoronationThe Queen's Coronation took place on the 2nd June 1953 and she wore a breathtaking gown, designed by Norman Hartnell.The dress featured a full flared skirt, fitted bodice with a sweetheart neckline and short sleeves. It was made of white satin and was embroidered with the emblems of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in gold and silver thread and pastel colours. It also had encrusted seed pearls and crystals to produce a lattice effect. The Queen's brief to the designer stated that she would like the dress to follow the lines of her wedding dress. Hartnell submitted many designs before his final sketch was approved. The final design was very symbolic and the emblems included pale pink Tudor roses for England, yellow wattle flowers for Australia and a Canadian maple flower amongst others. The Queen also wore a Robe of State of Crimson Velvet that was edged with ermine, gold lace and filigree. For the actual ceremony, The Queen's jewellery was removed and her robe was taken off. Her gown was covered by a white Colobium Sindonis dress, also designed by Hartnell. This was done to symbolise the removal of all vanity and worldly possessions. The pleated dress was fastened at the back to ensure an easy process of robing and disrobing.
|The Queen on tour in Australia, 1954|
For The Diamond Jubilee, many people are opting for 1950s styles to wear to their tea parties. As the Queen came to the throne in this decade, much interest has been placed on what she was wearing during this period and on the lives of women at that time. In the above picture, she is wearing a white lace ensemble, complete with a parasol, designed by Hardy Amies. This is my favourite look worn by The Queen, and definitely one of her most glamorous. The Utility Scheme was still prevalent in Britain before it was abolished in 1952 and the D Scheme came into being. Ready-to-wear fashion was beginning to expand, with new technologies. Meanwhile, Christian Dior's New Look of 1947 was gaining success in Paris, who had again been re-established as the leader of fashion. Full skirts and pencil were the favoured silhouettes until the latter part of the decade. Fashion in the 50s marked the change from austerity to prosperity.
In the quest to be seen and instantly recognisable, The Queen is always wearing bright, pastel colours for her public appearances. Quite often, the choice of colour is symbolic to the occasion or place, such as wearing emerald green for a visit to Ireland. Throughout her reign, her outfits have consisted of block coloured dresses and skirt suits with a coatdress. This yellow ensemble was designed by Angela Kelly for the wedding of Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge. The dress is in single crepe wool with beading on the neckline to imitate the rays of the sun. The Queen's use of colour most certainly dispels the myth that colour should only be worn by women of a certain age.
|Royale Handbag by Launer London|
Never has there been a lady so strongly associated with her handbag. The Queen is always carrying her beloved bag, even when she is seen at home. Her designer of choice is Launer London, who have been supplying the Royal Household since 1968. They were then granted a Royal Warrant. Her Majesty The Queen is usually wearing one of their black or cream handbags with her colourful outfits. When looking through pictures of The Queen, you are taken on a historical trip of millinery. As with her handbag, she is rarely seen without a hat, tiara or crown. They are always impeccably matched; today she is wearing a sculptural white hat with hand-dyed feathers and crystals for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Her jewellery is always perfectly matched, and often include pearls and diamond brooches. The Crown Jewels are held at the Tower of London, and holds pieces such as The Imperial State Crown and The Sovereign's Sceptre. For their celebratory window display, Harrods are displaying a selection of crowns by different designers.
|Dress by Hardy Amies, 1967|
Queen Elizabeth II, has had different designers dressing her throughout her time in public life. Norman Hartnell not only dressed The Queen for her wedding and Coronation but also designed many of the evening dresses she wore in the 1940s when she was then a Princess. Before dressing The Queen, he designed many wedding and bridesmaid dresses for Royal and social events. Hardy Amies began designing for The Queen in the early 1950s, and started with outfits for her tour to Canada, when she was a Princess in 1948. One of his most recognised designs, was a pink dress and coat that The Queen wore for her Silver Jubilee. In the 1970s patronage was given to Ian Thomas, who was an assistant to Norman Hartnell. His fluid and relaxed lines were seen in chiffon dresses that marked a change in fashion's silhouette. Maureen Rose designed for The Queen after his death and into the late 1980s. From the late 1980s to late 1990s John Anderson designed dresses and was followed by Karl Ludwig Rehse. Stewart Parvin then took the helm and began to design for The Queen in 2000. Angela Kelly is the Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to The Queen and she currently designs for The Queen and has designed many of the standout pieces that she has worn in recent years. Angela Kelly and her team always aim to incorporate old and new fabrics into their designs.