Take a Peek Inside Queen Elizabeth II’s Closet at Buckingham Palace
Your chance to see 90 years of HM's best looks.
Throughout her record-breaking 63-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II has been an international style icon. In honor of Her Majest’s 90th birthday, which the Queen celebrated in April, the Royal Collection Trust is showing off a lifetime’s worth of fashion with over 150 of the Queens outfits—and 80 hats.
“Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style From the Queen’s Wardrobe” opens this weekend at Buckingham Palace, with parts two and three at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (April 20–October 16, 2016) and Windsor Castle in Bershire (September 17, 2016–January 8, 2017).
The unprecedented peek inside the Queen’s closet includes the christening gown she wore as a baby in 1926, as well as both her Norman Hartnell-designed wedding and coronation gowns, which have never before been displayed together.
Another exhibition highlight is the Mantle of the British Empire, made by Marion Foale for Ede & Ravenscroft tailors in 1952. The Queen wore the striking red outfit, with its dramatic cape, for a 1969 portrait by Pietro Annigoni. Many outfits in the show have been paired with period shots of the Queen wearing them; the Mantle dress is accompanied by a small study created for the painting, the original of which hangs in London’s National Portrait Gallery.
The exhibition will show the consideration that goes into each and every one of Her Majesty’s outfits. The beaded Angela Kelly dress the Queen wore during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games, for instance, was chosen because of its neutral, peachy pink color.
“The philosophy behind the design I believe is to have something in a color that wouldn’t be in any way representative of any of the countries participating,” Royal Collection senior curator Caroline de Guitaut told the Telegraph.
In addition to revealing fashion’s diplomatic side—”very much a tool in the female sovereign’s power to use,” according to de Guitaut—the show speaks to the design prowess of British couturiers.
See more dresses from the exhibition below.
“Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style From the Queen’s Wardrobe” in on view at Buckingham Palace, London, July 23–October 2, 2016.
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