Launer Bags and Champagne – Selfridges celebrates The Queen at 90

This weekend sees Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her official 90th birthday. Although her actual birthday was in April, June is the official birthday month, with Trooping the Colour the celebration of this ‘birthday’. That means the lady is an honourary Gemini, which can only be a good thing. (Can you guess what my birth sign is…)

Ahead of a weekend of celebrations, beacons, parties and all round jolly happenings, Selfridges has shone a spotlight on one of The Queen’s favourite brands. When she see Her Majesty carrying those very neat and highly chic handbags, there is a 99% chance that it will be from Launer London. These leather totes are beautiful leather creations that are often perfectly matched to her outfits, and have a timeless appeal a little bit like the lady herself. Launer London bags are not cheap, they are most definitely a luxury item that may require you to remortgage your house in order to afford them. But they are classically elegant, a bag you might be using forever (or at least until you’re 90 if Elizabeth ll is anything to go by.

The Queen and Launer London

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Launer London

 LAUNER Traviata leather tote £1,550.00 Click to Selfridges

LAUNER Traviata leather tote £1,550.00 Click to Selfridges

 LAUNER Traviata leather tote £1,550.00 Click to visit Selfridges

LAUNER Traviata leather tote £1,550.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 LAUNER Judi leather tote £1,230.00 Click to visit Selfridges

LAUNER Judi leather tote £1,230.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 LAUNER High Society leather shoulder bag £580.00 Click to visit Selfridges

LAUNER High Society leather shoulder bag £580.00 Click to visit Selfridges

Celebrate in Style

If you are planning your own celebration this weekend, Selfridges have put together a selection of hampers, gift boxes and afternoon tea selections that could help your party go with a bang (or maybe a hic! – there’s a lot of wine included.) My favourite has to be the Prosecco Celebration trio, because frankly one bottle is never enough, and, as I already mentioned sharing a (honourary) star sign with her Madge, I think this weekend is close enough to my birthday to start my own personal celebrations.

 SELFRIDGES SELECTION Prosecco Celebration trio £60.00 Click to visit Selfridges

SELFRIDGES SELECTION Prosecco Celebration trio
£60.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 SELFRIDGES SELECTION Afternoon Tea gift box £25.00 Click to visit Selfridges

SELFRIDGES SELECTION Afternoon Tea gift box £25.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 SELFRIDGES SELECTION Champagne & Afternoon Tea hamper £100.00 Click to visit Selfridges

SELFRIDGES SELECTION Champagne & Afternoon Tea hamper
£100.00 Click to visit Selfridges

 

 

 

Elizabeth – A true Queen of style

She’s just about to become a great grandmother all over again, and she has just celebrated her 89th birthday, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that our Queen, Elizabeth II, is having a moment. She is currently being played on Broadway by the beautiful Kristen Scott Thomas, and this month will see the release of a film ‘A Royal Night Out’ which tells of VE night 1945, when the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were allowed to mingle with the crowds outside Buckingham Palace, and then enjoyed a night of freedom.

Bel Powley, left, and Sarah Gadon as Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth in 'A Royal Night Out'

Bel Powley, left, and Sarah Gadon as Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth in ‘A Royal Night Out’

I don’t mind admitting I am a huge fan of The Queen, for some quite random reasons. My birthday is June 15th – whenever this falls on a Saturday I end up sharing it with the Queen and her official birthday – Trooping the Colour. When she celebrated her silver jubilee in 1977 my dad actually took me to see her when she visited West Bromwich – I was three years old and have no memory of it, but she’s still my greatest celebrity spot. I love that she saved her ration coupons for her wedding dress, and that she trained as a mechanic during World War 2. (You can find out many more fun and interesting facts about the Queen from this Great British Bingo infographic.)

The Queen in Dudley on the day that I saw her - it was part of a Black Country visit

The Queen in Dudley on the day that I saw her – it was part of a Black Country visit

What I really love about our Queen is just how iconic and stylish she truly is. This is a lady who has rarely got it wrong in 63 years of public dressing, with her 1950s young queen wardrobe as beautiful as anything Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn wear wearing at that time. Her sister, Princess Margaret has been rightly recognised as a style icon, but her more reserved, demure sister has often been overlooked for her less showy, adventurous choices. But now, finally, both designers and best dressed lists are agreeing that the Queen has a style that is both timeless, elegant and totally classic.

Here are a few of my favourite looks from the royal archives.

1950s queen

queen 1950s

Queen-Elizabeth-II-1954

queen pink

Queen Elizabeth II in Formal Clothing

Probably designed by Norman Hartnell.

1960-at-windsor-great-park-to-watch-polo-a

Love this gorgeous printed dress teamed with shades

 

1960

HM The Queen Elizabeth II at Sandringham with Her Corgies - 1960s

I could see Duchess Kate wearing this coat – wonder if it is archived somewhere?

 

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1960 Christmas day speech

 

queen-9

With John and Jackie Kennedy

 

With President Jimmy Carter

With President Jimmy Carter

With Barack Obama

With Barack and Michelle Obama

You can find some more of the looks I love here.

You can follow my pinterest board dedicated to The Queen and Princess Margaret here.

Kate – A right Royal Jubilee Round up

It already seems like an age away since those fabulous Jubilee celebrations, but now is the perfect time to take a look at the outfits worn by the Duchess of Style during a rather hectic week. Whilst the Queen was the centre of the nation’s attention, Kate Middleton held the attention of every seasoned fashionista. And she didn’t disappoint, flying the flag for McQueen once again during a very busy royal week.

Lets take a look at some of her key looks…with a few types on getting the Kate Factor for yourself.

Look 1 – Haven’t I seen that McQueen somewhere before?

Kate started the weekend with the river pageant on a very blustery day. She plumped for a red Alexander McQueen dress that looked somewhat familiar. Which is not surprising, since the short-sleeved version had previously been worn by both Tulisa and Kim Kardashian. Kate wore a long-sleeved version in a slightly longer length, that showed just how different one dress can be, dependant on the wearer. On Tulisa it was cute and funky. On Kim it look ill-judged and a little bit tight. On Kate it become a very elegant look, one that was well matched with a Sylvia Fletcher hat.

Get the look

Jaeger Accordion Pleated Skirt

BACK BY ANN-SOFIE BACK / BONING TANK 

NELLY ACCESSORIES / LUXURIOUS HEADDRESS 

Coral Satin Box Clutch 

Sledge Court Shoe 

It was more McQueen for the service at St Paul’s and the Buckingham Palace balcony appearance. This time Kate wore an exquisite nude lace long-sleeved shift dress. The opting for long sleeves was sensible – it may be June, but no-one seems to have informed the weather. This dress was very elegant, with a soft ribbon cumberband on the centre and scalloping detail around the neckline and hemline. A truly pretty look.

Get the look

STINE GOYA / PRISM DRESS 

Blush lace pencil dress 

NELLY ACCESSORIES / ADORNMENT HEADDRESS 

 

Pleated Satin box bag from 

For the Jubilee concert, Kate again opted for McQueen in the form of a black blazer, but this was teamed with a High Street floral print frock from Whistles. This was the Bella Bodycon dress, which has, of course, since sold out at Asos.com, although the Whistles website has some different print varieties in stock at present.

Bella garden print bodycon dress 

And what of Pippa?

Pippa Middleton also took part in the river pageant, and provided the white and blue to Kate’s red. She looked lovely in an a-line dress from another Kate fave, Orla Kiely, with a 1960s style jacket from Jaeger. This was a very understated outfit from Pippa, but I loved it.

Get the Pippa Look

COLLECTION by John Lewis Ponte Trimmed Jacket, 

COLLECTION by John Lewis Ponte Dress, Navy £79