The Royal Family are known for their many unique traditions, and their fashion choices are no exception. Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle all adhere to very specific rules of dress for royal engagements, diplomatic visits, opening of Parliament, state dinners and even garden parties. Queen Elizabeth’s modern style involves wearing bright and bold colours and the reason behind this might surprise you. Katie Nicholl, Royal Correspondent for Vanity Fair stated that: “The Queen is not a very tall woman, she is often in a situation where she is surrounded by people.
“She needs to stand out. The Queen’s signature style is clean cut, nothing fussy and wherever possible a bold colour and a hat.”
Wearing bright yellow at Kate and William’s wedding, lime green at Megan and Harry’s and luminous green on her 90th birthday the Queen’s style has been adapted for every occasion and has been described by Ingrid Seward, Editor of Majesty Magazine as: “Absolutely perfect for what she does.
“She doesn’t walk around wearing a crown, therefore she has to wear bright colours.”
However there is another reason the monarch opts for vibrant colours, and it is not just to make sure royal fans catch a glimpse of her – there is also a security element.
Explaining the thinking behind it, and why her clothes help her bodyguards, fashion designer David Emanuel made a pointing gesture and said: “Out of a crowd of grey and beige – thats her, [it’s] quite clever.”
But Her Majesty has not always been seen in her glorious technicolour, and her earlier fashion statements were captured in black and white – but that didn’t stop her from creating her own style.
When Elizabeth first became Queen as a young woman, she would often dress in a 50’s style, cinched in waist and wide skirts with high sandals.
Once appointed she had to think carefully of her fashion choices and what designers she would wear.
One designer The Queen favoured was Norman Hartnell. He was described by some as the “darling of the British fashion scene,” and was known for his opulent yet dignified designs.
The royal’s have many demands upon their wardrobes, from walkabouts to state dinners to meeting foreign dignitaries, and they need to be ready for any occasion.
David Sassoon, 86 – is one of the Royal dressmakers, and he has been dressing the royals for over 60 years. Describing how royal wardrobes are put together, he said: “When you design for a member of the Royal Family, they usually have an itinerary of what they are going to be doing for the next few months and what kind of clothes they will require.
“You then submit sketches of the sort of things you think would suit for that particular occasion.
“One of my first memories of making something for a member of the Royal Family was Princess Anne. She was eight-years-old, and she was to be a bridesmaid for the first time.
“[A] nanny put the Princess into the dress, then out of the blue the Queen appeared. My memory is that the Queen looked at the bridesmaid dress and asked: ‘Would it wash?’”
The Queen is known to be quite thrifty, and from time to time she will recycle a dress or coat and mix it with other pieces to create new outfit.
But none are as frugal as the Queen’s daughter Anne, who in the past has reworn items on on a number of occasions over the last 35-years, including a favourite cream and navy coat.
Secrets of The Royal Dressmaker airs tonight on Channel 5 at 20:00PM