Queen Elizabeth II’s Rainbow Wardrobe Explained

Over the past seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II has developed a style of dressing that is distinctly her own. Instantly recognizable – never ahead of fashion yet never behind it – the Queen’s wardrobes at Buckingham Palace have been bursting with iconic clothing for more than 70 years.

During the early years of her reign, the Queen was renowned for her elegant and extravagant ball gowns, relying most heavily on her favorite and designer, Sir Norman Hartnell. The image of the young, glamorous queen was perpetuated through iconic portrait sittings performed by photographers such as Cecil Beaton, who took particular note of what clothes the monarch would wear.

This is the style adopted in the later decades of her life, although it would probably be most associated with the enduring image of Elizabeth II. A modern emperor in a rainbow-colored uniform.

In its platinum jubilee year, newsweek Explores what goes into the Queen’s rainbow wardrobe.

Queen Elizabeth II’s iridescent wardrobe helps her to stand out among the crowd with ease. (L) Photographed at the Commonwealth Games event on October 7, 2021. (c) in Norfolk, December 21, 2017. and (r) at Royal Ascot, June 19, 2021.
Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images


The silhouette of the queen has changed over the past seven decades, adapting to the fashionable ideals of the time. Although the miniskirt may be a step too far for the monarch, who has never shortened her skirt above the knee, for her practical work wardrobe she chose to use the same classic formula as a light day dress under a wool blend coat. trend has been maintained.

writing in your book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the WardrobeThe Queen’s personal dresser, Angela Kelly, describes several things that should be taken into account when designing the silhouette and technical aspects of the Queen’s clothing:

“In general, the neckline on coats and jackets should not be too high or too low, and should not restrict the movement of the queen,” explains Kelly. “This is especially true of thick wool coats with broad, full collars”

As well as ease of movement, the weather, the angle from which the Queen will be viewed and the jewelry she wears, all influence the size and composition of the Emperor’s wardrobe.

Queen Elizabeth Ii Coat
Queen Elizabeth II’s wardrobe follows a classic British tailored silhouette for her formal daywear. (R) Photographed at Buckingham Palace Garden Party on May 23, 2017. and (R) at a polo match at Windsor Castle, July 11, 2021.
Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images


The Queen’s rainbow-hued wardrobe has garnered the acclaim of the fashion press in recent years. In 2012, Diamond Jubilee Year, British Vogue He charted all of the emperor’s costumes and found that his most commonly worn color was blue – making up 24 percent of the clothes he wore at public ceremonies.

the trend The study also found that the least-worn color in the Queen’s wardrobe was beige, accounting for just 1 percent of the total wardrobe for 2012.

Angela Kelly writes that “color is important” in the Queen’s wardrobe, “however—the color chosen should suit it.”

When it comes to which colors don’t suit the 95-year-old monarch, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Apart from the obvious lack of fondness for beige, the Queen does not wear black for day-to-day dress as she reserves it as a mourning colour. The Queen reportedly never travels without a black dress, unless she is within easy reach of her wardrobe in case of any tragic emergency.

Prints are also popular in the Queen’s wardrobe. In recent years the monarch has started wearing printed day dresses in bright colours, mainly containing floral motifs. These dresses are paired with coats in block colors that highlight the pop of print seen in the dress below.

Neon colors are not a common choice for the queen, but there are occasions where she has appeared with a vibrant pop for special occasions. Marking his 90th birthday in 2016, the monarch was seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace wearing a neon green dress that set him apart from the rest of the royal family.

The Queen has been quoted as saying “I have to be seen to be believed” and that her bold and bright color choices help her achieve this goal.

Queen Elizabeth Ii Colorful Wardrobe
Queen Elizabeth II’s most commonly worn color in 2012 was blue, accounting for 24% of her public wardrobe. Photographed (L) at a Garden Party on July 22, 2010. (c) in Ascot, October 21, 2016. and (R) Welcoming President Biden at Windsor Castle, June 13, 2021.
Gareth Fuller/Pool/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Sameer Hussain/Pool/WireImage

the people who do it all

Rani has a dedicated team to help with her wardrobe. Her most senior wardrobe consultant is Angela Kelly, who holds the distinction of personal assistant, consultant and curator to Her Majesty The Queen (jewelry, insignia and wardrobe).

Kelly is widely known as the Queen’s closest confidant and has the distinction of being permitted by the monarch to publish two books about her work, her boss and her wardrobe.

Under Kelly are four other dressers, a devoted miller, a dressmaker and a housewife. The Queen also has a hairdresser who regularly visits and sets her famous royal hairstyles.

The Queen’s wardrobe is composed primarily of two designers, one of them being Kelly herself who was responsible for many of the looks worn for the Diamond Jubilee as well as the famous primrose yellow ensemble worn at Prince William’s wedding .

Another expert hand who makes for the Queen is Stewart Parveen, a designer in classic British style who holds royal warrants.

Parveen was tasked with replacing the 1960s couture Norman Hartnell ball gown worn by the Queen and Kelly to the Parliament opening, to be worn by the Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, for their small wedding in 2020 during the pandemic can be worn

Angela Kelly Queen Elizabeth Ii
Angela Kelly LVO is in charge of Queen Elizabeth II’s wardrobe and also designs custom outfits for her. Photographed (L) at Buckingham Palace on November 16, 2012. and the Queen (R) as photographed wearing Kelly creations at the wedding of Prince William on April 29, 2011.
John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

core items

Rani’s accessories have become an iconic piece in itself. The most famous of these are her handbags.

The supplier of the Queen’s bags is the family-run British brand Launer London and the Monarch owns its most famous styles in a variety of colours.

The Queen’s handbags are not only used for their aesthetic value; It has been reported that they may have been used by the emperor to send secret messages to members of his staff at public events, indicating his willingness to pass from person to person by carrying his bag from one hand to another. is included.

Another one of the staples of the emperor’s rainbow wardrobe are his umbrellas. These are made by Fulton for the Queen and match the different colors in her wardrobe. The style of these umbrellas is known as “birdcage” and was first made in the 1960s. The Queen’s mother was the first to adopt him because his PVC dome allowed people to see him even during the rain. This is the reason why they are still popular among the royals.

Queen Elizabeth Ii Accessories
Queen Elizabeth II is known for her classic handbags and umbrellas that match her colorful clothing. Photographed (L) on May 23, 2019 in London. and (R) at an exhibition in Richmond, May 15, 2012.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Suzanne Plunkett/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen’s wardrobe is filled with a rainbow of colors from black and beige to neon green and primrose yellow. This bright and beautiful array of colors helps the monarch to be seen anywhere, whether against the spectacular backdrop of Windsor Castle or in a ceremonial photograph amidst a crowd of thousands. Although the image of the glamorous young monarch of the 1950s may always be remembered, it is his distinctive uniform-like style that has helped him become one of the most immediately recognizable figures of the modern era.

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