QUEEN ELIZABETH II : 1952-201260 YEARS OF ROYAL STYLEPART 2 : 1970 - 2012
In this, the second part of my look at the Queen's working wardrobe and her personal sense of style, I cover the decades from the 1970s up to the present Diamond Jubilee Celebrations this week...and what a week it's been !!
The 1970s saw a certain amount of relaxing in her style - this was in keeping with the trend of the day, and was also a sign that she was much more confident with the style she would adopt for the rest of her life - she was a bit older than when she started out, and knew that she must always dress appropriately for her age as well as the occasion, but at the same time, style protocols and dress codes were relaxing all around her in this decade, and so she followed suit - she became much braver and brighter in her colour choices too !!
In this, the second part of my post about our Queen, I will look at how she has adapted her look to suit her age, her job and her own personal sense of style...1970s
During this tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970, she instigated the first Royal Walkabout, thus ensuring that her bodyguards would be kept on their toes for the rest of her reign, right up to present day !! Here she is, talking to a large group of schoolchildren, completely on a whim - she spotted them across the playing field, and turned many heads and raised many eyebrows by leaving her planned route to chat to them unannounced !! Thus, the Royal Walkabout was born...1970 New Zealand - the first walkabout !!
Here she is meeting the Apollo 11 Astronauts after their trip to the moon in 1969 - an ice-blue satin cocktail dress ensures that she is seen against the black of their suits...1970 with the Apollo 11 astronauts
Visits to the hotter climate countries always involve careful clothing choices, but the same rules and regs must be adhered to - here, in Jamaica, she wears a mustard-yellow dress with a white collar and white hat and gloves, of course !! Always the same 2" height heeled shoes for maximum comfort, and her ubiquitous three-strand pearl necklace
This necklace will be seen again and again, even though she wears a brooch too - it's almost a good luck necklace, as if things just wouldn't be the same without it !! Later on, she seems to wear it to every single event...1975 Jamaica
Another visit to the US, and a meeting with the US Navy Commander, Tyrone G Martin, who welcomes her aboard the 'Constitution
' - she chose a print day-dress and a white/coloured straw hat for this occasion - I'll bet that the hat matches the dress:-1976 Meeting Commander Tyrone G Martin (US Navy) aboard the 'Constitution'
In 1977, it was exactly 25 years since she succeeded to the British throne, and thus the Silver Jubilee took place and this is the beautiful gown she wore for the official portrait taken in Buckingham Palace - it looks rather like a dress designed by Prada today, or maybe Valentino, with the zig-zag beading design all round the skirt !!1977 Official Silver Jubilee portrait1980s
For a second visit to the Pope in Rome, she again wore a full-length black gown with a black veil - she is a real stickler for tradition and protocol, compared to various other Royal families who have visited the Papal palace in Rome recently...1980 with Pope John Paul II in Rome
For the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, she went for a beautiful shade of turquoise blue - this colour we see again and again on the Queen, in various different outfits - it is one of the best colours for her as it's bright and visible without being unflattering...again, the hat matches the dress and everything goes with white gloves and a brooch, and her other favourite pearl necklace, the two strand one:1981, appearing on the Palace balcony with the newly-weds !!THE PEARL NECKLACES
Incidentally, this necklace was equally well known, but has been somewhat superseded in recent years by the triple-strand necklace, which she was given as a young girl in 1935 by her grandfather, King George V, to celebrate his Silver Jubilee - she wears these in the daytime mostly. However, the bigger double-strand necklace here is actually two separate strands worn together - they are the ones she received as a wedding gift from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The one string is said to have belonged to Queen Anne, last of the Stuart monarchs. The other to Queen Caroline, wife of King George II. She wore these necklaces on her own wedding day in 1947, and for Charles and Diana's wedding day in 1981.THE WILLIAMSON BROOCH
The beautiful flower-shaped brooch she is wearing is the famous Williamson Brooch, created from the finest and rarest pink diamond in the world, which was discovered in South Africa in 1947. Pink diamonds constitute only 0.1% of all the diamonds in the world,and this is the best one of all !! Dr. John Thornbum Williamson was a Canadian geologist, famous for establishing the Williamson diamond mine in Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania). This rare pink diamond had been unearthed in Williamson's mine the month before the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and presented as a wedding gift to the happy couple by Dr Williamson himself !! The Queen wears it often and it's clearly a favourite:
In 1983, she went walkabout during her Canadian tour, choosing this gorgeous cobalt-blue and pink mohair coat - she also chose a toning hat in purple-blue and pink to echo the two-tone colours of that marvellous coat !!
In 1984, a bit of a style departure for the Queen, attending the Royal Guards polo match, with this beautiful coat and matching shawl, pinned with a diamond brooch - very unusual and very smart actually !! 1983 Canadian Royal Tour 1984 Guards polo match
During a trip to the Beijing, a walk along a section of the Great Wall of China, dressed on a tailored suit of heather-purple with the inevitable matching hat - very smart and very flattering for the older Queen... 1986 Beijing, China - on the Great Wall1990s
The 90s were a bit of a fraught decade for the Royal Family really, what with the break-up of three of the royal children's marriages, and the big fire at the Queen's favourite home, Windsor Castle, and ending up with the horrific death of the Princess of Wales in an underpass in Paris in 1997 - by the end of this decade, you will notice that the Queen's hair has turned quite white !!
She has never lost her sense of style though - through it all, she deported herself with the regal air of dignity and refined sense of taste and style that has never let her down !!
In 1997, she attended a ball in Marlow wearing a tailored gold-brocade column dress - this is a style that she has adopted for evening-wear in her later years - it's a style that is much more flattering now that she no longer has a waist of a mere 23 inches, and is always dignified and regal looking !!1997 Banquet in Marlow
Here's an outfit that I rather liked - a richly coloured plaid outfit with glowing shades of purple, pink, and teal-blue - fabulous and so very late-90s !!1999 - Nottingham University2000s
The new century saw the Queen as busy as ever, with trips all over the world, including all the Commonweath countries of course - and America and Canada - it is extremely important to her to keep the channels of diplomatic communication open with all of Britain's allies, and this as good a way of doing it as anything else, in my view. If we didn't have a reigning hereditary monarch, we'd have to have an elected President as our Head of State, and that means it could
be an ex-Prime Minister - Tony Blair or even Margaret Thatcher - imagine !! They would cost just as much but wouldn't carry the sheer weight
of history with them.
Putting it in very basic terms, our Royal Family is as big a tourist attraction as the Tower of London or the London Eye...and it concerns both the Queen and Prince Charles, the Heir Apparent, that they should be giving us value for our money as Ambassadors for Britain!!
The Queen has sat for many artist's and photographers, but one of the most interesting set of pictures that resulted from a controversial photo-shoot were these two photographs from the lens of Annie Leibowitz - they are controversial because Annie, apparently ignorant of the protocol involved in such a shoot, requested that the Queen remove her crown - which she did !! :-
I rather like both photos actually - they have a rather melancholy contemplative quality which is probably the result of the side-lighting and the hugeness of the room...
In 2007, the Queen visited Uganda and attended an official banquet in Entebbe, dressed in a white sparkly column dress with the 'Girls Tiara'
on her head - beautiful and regal as always !!
White has always been one of her favourite colours for evening-gowns, and they are often sparkly or have a sheen on them... 2007 Official Banquet in Entebbe, Uganda
In 2008, she visited the newly democratic nations of Slovakia and Slovenia, and came out with some rather cracking outfits... October 2008 - Bratislava, Slovakia
I loved this nubbly bouclé tweed coat and matching hat in shades of cream and soft grey, with that lovely hat adorned with feathers - just beautiful !!
Later on she chose this dark red outfit, with one of her favourite brooches and a matching hat. October 2008 - Bratislava, Slovakia
She also attended various balls and banquets, this one had her in a floor-length gold and white brocade dress with the 'Girls Tiara'
again, and her white fur stole from the 50s - who said that she never wore things twice ? The dress too has been worn before - we looked at the two photographs of her further up, sitting for photographer Annie Leibowitz - well, I think this is the same dress !! October 2008 Bratislava, Slovakia
Later on, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, she went for another white gown, this time a white brocade dress with a white fur collar, and the famous Burmese Ruby tiara, and a diamond and ruby necklace/earring/bracelet set.. October 2008 Ljubljana, SloveniaTHE BURMESE RUBY TIARA
The tiara she wears is the famous 'Burmese Ruby Tiara
', ordered by her as a beautiful setting for the 96 rubies which were a gift from the Burmese people. Crediting the ruby with prophylactic properties, the tiara was specially designed to protect the wearer against the 96 diseases the Burmese people believe can afflict the human body.
The Queen received these rubies from the people of Burma as a Coronation gift. After 26 years, she finally sent the rubies to Garrard’s to create a new tiara in 1973. She selected a design where the rubies were arranged in clusters to look like the Rose of England, surrounded by diamonds. The Queen wears the crown often with her many ruby necklaces and bracelets. Since the passing of the Queen Mother, she has worn the magnificent ruby necklace, The State Rubies, left to the Crown by Queen Victoria.
Back home, she and Prince Philip attended the Opening Day at Royal Ascot, and she wore a beautiful black and white outfit almost as striking as it was expensive, probably !! 2008 Day 1 at Royal Ascot
The following year, she opened a new clinic, the Carole Brown Health Centre in Dersingham, and she wore this amazingly eye-catching pink and black coat and dress with a black fur hat and cuffs - fabulous !! 2009 Carole Brown Health centre in Dersingham
She also went off to Trinidad for a State visit the same year, and wore a very bright lime-green, black and yellow print dress with a lime green hat to match - she never was afraid of brilliant colour combinations, and very bright visible blocks of colour - she practically invented the idea of colour-blocking, although her stylists are very much responsible for that principle, I think !!2009 Trinidad visitTHE WARDROBE SPREAD-SHEET IN ACTION !!
Here are some of the outfits that I have noticed her wearing on more than one occasion, as described by her stylist further up - that spread-sheet with all the details of every outfit is clearly a working document, and succeeds in keeps everything up to date, and is, no doubt as invaluable to the Queen as the stylist herself !!
Here she is in 2008, attending a church service at Sandringham in a two-tone tweed coat with bright red trim, and a matching dress, and a hat with a beautiful feather trim:- 2008 Church service at Sandringham
Later on, in 2010, she wore the same outfit again to pay a visit to the new Gherkin building in the City of London, and also the control-room of the Tower Bridge !! She took the coat off to reveal the matching dress underneath !! 2010 Visit to the Gherkin and the Tower Bridge control-room
The second outfit that has had at least two airings, is this one - back in 2008, she wore this shocking-pink coat and print dress with matching hat in pink and turquoise blue to the Epsom Derby... 2008 - June Epsom Derby
The following year, it came out again for the first Summer Garden Party at Buckingham Palace - marvellous !! This outfit is absolutely typical in that it is brilliant colour that can be seen for miles, worn with a small-brimmed hat (visible face) in a matching colour, and worn with her triple-strand pearls and a brooch !! 2009 Summer Palace Garden Party
This deep purple and black ensemble was worn to the 2009 Armistice Day Service and wreath-laying at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and one year later again, she chose it for the South African Presidential visit in 2010 :- 2009 Armistice Day Meeting Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa in 2010
Here she is with the South African President Jacob Zuma inspecting gifts - she has removed the coat and hat as she is indoors of course, but you can now see the matching dress, which just shows at the neck of the coat:2010 South African presidential visit
This amazing shocking-pink and white coat and printed dress has also seen light of day twice at least over the last five years - here she is wearing during her state visit to Turkey in 2008 - she went to the Modern Museum in Ankara, and looked perfectly cool and bright in it !! 2008 Visit to the Modern Museum in Ankara, Turkey
The following year, she wore it for the second day at Royal Ascot - same hat, same dress, same coat - so every outfit on this spread-sheet appears to stay together, with just the jewellery changing !! 2009 Royal Ascot - Day 2
Here's another outfit she has worn twice - this deep heathery-pink tweed coat and dress, with its accompanying maroon hat was worn in 2008 to the New Zealand Tourism Exhibition in London, and again, when she opened the London Clinic in 2010: 2008 New Zealand Tourism Exhibition in London 2010 Visit to the London Clinic
So as you can see, far from spending too much public money on her wardrobe, she often recycles outfits and reworks coats and dresses for another wearing - getting your money's worth is as important to the Queen as anyone else !!2010s
Of course, we're not very far into this decade yet, but there have been two very significant events already, the first being the Royal Wedding of Prinvce William to Kate Middleton last year:THE ROYAL WEDDING 2011:-
Queen Elizabeth wore a primrose yellow outfit designed by her stylist Angela Kelly, who then had this coat restyled into a dress for her recent trip to Australia - very clever as it means she doesn't have to wear anything else underneath in a warmer climate !! Watch out for this outfit again as it's clearly a favourite, but we won't see it again for at least a couple of years !! 2011 Royal Wedding of Prince William to Katherine MiddletonTHE DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS 2012 :-
Queen Elizabeth II has worn three amazing outfits, all designed and created by Angela Kelly, during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend.
On the right is the silver and white dress and coat worn for the Thames river pageant. It was created from white bouclé, threaded throughout with silk ribbon, embroidered with gold, silver and ivory spots and, once again, embellished with Swarovski crystals.
In the centre is the gold lame cocktail dress that The Queen wore to Monday night's concert, with sweeping trimmings of antique gold lace and Swarovski crystal adornments.
On the left is her outfit for Tuesday's service of thanksgiving and carriage procession - a dress of fine silk tulle with mint green and silver embellishments, a mint green chiffon drape scattered with Swarovski crystals, and a hat covered in the same fabric.
Here she is in all three outfits :-
I loved this white coat with its pleated edging down the front edge and delicate silver and gold spots incorporated into the weave of the fabric - it also comes with a matching dress underneath. Her hat is particularly interesting - I love the sweep of tiny feathers anchored down with crystal beads - just look at the close-up below !! Day 1: The River Thames Jubilee Pageant
Here she is in that beautiful gold brocade column dress with its thickly encrusted embroidery all down one side, attending the Jubilee Concert taking pace on her doorstep !!Day 2 : Jubilee Concert and Lighting the Palace Beacon
Finally, on Day 3, she went for a white coat and matching hat with swathes of delicate ice-blue chiffon draped over her shoulder, matching the ribbon around the hat's brim - and I just love the enormous diamond brooch - marvellous !! I have uncovered the details of this lovely jewel below... Day 3: Thanksgiving service in St Paul's Cathedral and Procession down the Mall to Buckingham PalaceTHE CULLINAN III AND IV BROOCH
The brooch is the 'Cullinan III and IV
' brooch, which is a reference to the truly marvellous diamond from which they were cut. The Cullinan Diamond was the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. The stone weighed 3,106 carats in its rough state when discovered at a mine near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905. At first it was thought to be crystal, as it was three times larger than any other diamond that had been found. It went on to be cut into nine major stones with no less than seven of them belonging to the Queen. Two of the biggest are officially the largest colourless and flawless cut diamonds in the world, the biggest, the 'Great Star of Africa
', was set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the second gem, the 'Second Star of Africa'
, was set into the Imperial State Crown.. Until 26 January 1905 no one had ever seen a diamond of this size. So incredible was its discovery that the moment it was found at the Premier mine it was thrown out of the window of the mine manager’s office because it was thought to be a worthless crystal !! Luckily, someone retrieved it just in case...THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE
All in all, the Queen has developed a very clear style that works well for her, and any other working person in their later years - her work-schedule is punishing and would no doubt finish off any of the dissenting voices of those who thinks she does nothing for a living !! The sheer amount of hard graft it entails, travelling all round the world representing your country for business and socio-political relations, is actually gruelling and tiring, especially for an old lady of 87 !!
Will she abdicate in favour of Prince Charles - certainly not, unless she falls ill, but I think she will
slow down a little and gradually let him take her place to represent her on many duties over the next few years !! He, Princes William and Prince Harry are already doing that to a certain degree, but she has every intention of reigning until she dies !!
I hope you have enjoyed this little two-part piece on our Queen, and her hard-working wardrobe - of course, inevitably, I have left out dozens and dozens of the most glorious outfits but if I included them all, we would all be here for a very long time indeed !! It has been a bit of an eye-opener though - I never realized that she has had so many outfits recycled until I started to look at the photo-stream for her on Zimbio - there are almost 170 pages of thumbnail pics dating back just to 2004, so you can see at a glance what she wore and where - here is the link if you want to go and check it out :http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Queen+Elizabeth+II/browse
I hope you've enjoyed my two-part look at the Queen's style over the past sixty years. If you have enjoyed this piece, and think that others would like to read it too, please feel free to link to both of them in your own journals, or indeed, where-ever you think appropriate - Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Stumbled upon, Pinterest or any of the other social networking sites you may be a part of - it's time this journal needs to spread its wings and get out there beyond the confines of Live Journal, I feel...
Let's do it !!