The Queen, during her life time is arguably the most the most-photographed woman on the planet and Her Majesty’s wardrobe has always attracted scrutiny and comment.
So much so, year after year on the first day of Royal Ascot, bets are traditionally taken on what colour of hat she will be wearing. Milliner Royal Warrant holders Philip Treacy and Rachel Trevor Morgan’s creations can be seen worn by The Queen and ladies of the Royal family during many Royal engagements.
Norman Hartnell, who first worked for the then Princess Elizabeth in the 1940s, produced many of the finest evening dresses in Her Majesty’s wardrobe. His signature style of the 1940s and 1950s was full-skirted dresses in sumptuous silks and duchesse satins.
Hardy Amies began designing clothes for The Queen in the early 1950s and established his name with the deceptive simplicity of his accomplished tailoring. The portraits by Cecil Beaton released to mark Her Majesty’s birthday in 1969 the are amongst the most memorable designs by Hardy Amies.
In the 1970s The Queen awarded her patronage to Ian Thomas, who was an assistant designer to Norman Hartnell before setting up his own salon. Thomas’s flowing chiffon dresses from the 1970s reflect the relaxed style of the decade. Maureen Rose of the same house continued to design for Her Majesty after Ian’s death until the late 80’s.
Between 1988 and 1996, Her Majesty’s dresses were designed by John Anderson. His business partner Karl Ludwig Rehse took over the mantle after his death in 1988 and the Queen still wears his designs today. “Karl Ludwig Couture, HM The Queen privy purse, Dress Maker”
Stewart Parvin, the youngest of Her Majesty’s designers, born in Ascot, trained at Edinburgh College of Art. He was awarded a Royal Warrant as Couturier , beginning to design for The Queen in 2000 and continues to do so.
Angela Kelly is Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser to The Queen. Her role includes designing for The Queen, most famously The Queens outfit worn for the wedding of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011. She has worked in this role since 2002. Angela and her team try and use both old and new fabrics and some of the material they incorporate has been given to Her Majesty decades ago, some dating from when she was a young Princess Elizabeth. It is true what they say, quality never goes out of fashion.