I was asked to speak on my local Radio station,BBC Radio WM, yesterday, about our Queen. In particular, I was asked to speak about her style, her designers and her clothes. Because, although she may not be the name you immediately think of when discussing stylish royals, the Queen is undoubtedly one very stylish lady, perfectly able to set trends, and one whose 1950s wardrobe was full of the most beautiful outfits that continue to inspire today.
The first really iconic dress worn by our Queen was the wedding dress she wore to her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. Designed by Norman Hartnell, this was a stunning blend of wedding romance and patriotic symbilism. Because rationing was still in place, it was said that British women sent their tokens to help to pay for the dress. This dress has stood the test of time far better than the 80s excesses worn by Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.
Throughout the 1950s, The young Queen (just 27 when she was crowned) stayed loyal to Hartnell, who also designed the exquisite Coronation dress. Hartnell created British versions of Dior’s New Look for the radiant young monarch, with full skirts, nipped in waists and elegant powder shades. Her evening attire was as glittering and anticipated as that worn by Kate Middleton half a century later. It was funny that when I googled The Queen 1950s, I was presented with lots of pictures of another Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor. In fact, there was a quite striking resemblance between the two Elizabeth’s, who were both tiny, beautiful brunettes.
The Queen moved with the times, moved on to new designers like Hardy Amies and, more recently, Stuart Parvin. She still dresses wonderfully, in bright colours, simple shapes and with the neatest of gloves and boxy handbags. Always immaculate, always age appropriate, and always with a sense of occasion, I salute a true Queen of style.
Dress Like The Queen
Lilac spot midi dress £22.40 click to visit Dorothy Perkins
This soft lilac dress has a fifties feel and is in a very Queenly lilac which would help you to stand out in a crowd.
Tula Marisa Large Barrel Tote Handbag, Beige £129 click to visit John Lewis
This Tula bag has a classic retro style leather design, and comes in a neutral shade that would compliment so many outfits. I love the boxy shape!
Whiteleys Fascinator, Silver £39, click to visit John Lewis
This fascinator has a definite 1950s feel to it. This looks just like something that the young Queen Elizabeth, or her stylish sister Princess Margaret would’ve worn in those heady post Coronation days.