Arts & culture

Her Majesty’s true royal colours 

We reflect on the significance behind the sartorial choices of our late monarch, Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II and her carefully chosen outfits – notable for their abundance of colour – are as much a part of what stands out in our memory as her calm and collected decorum throughout her reign. In the years following her coronation, aged 24, all eyes were on the apparel she chose to wear when she stepped out in public – and she was as much a trendsetter as any celebrity in the spotlight at the time.

She favoured the bright and the bold within a kaleidoscopic palette. She was loyal to her favoured designers, including London milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan, who designed hats for Her Majesty’s royal engagements from 2006 – notably the sunshine yellow hat she wore to open the completed Elizabeth line earlier in the year. Launer London handbags became her lifelong accessory, along with her comfy, Anello & Davide patent shoes.

Queen Elizabeth II’s motive for wearing bright and brilliant ensembles was primarily so she could be spotted from as far away as possible – as explained by the Countess of Wessex on documentary, The Queen at 90, which featured interviews with several members of the The Royal Family.

Our Rainbow Queen, written by journalist and author Sali Hughes, is an homage to Queen Elizabeth’s approach to style, taking readers through nine decades of her distinctive wardrobe alongside insight into her sartorial selections. We learn how The Queen used colour in a discrete but meaningful way – for instance, wearing the colours of the European flag to a post-Brexit meeting or donning a pin given to her by The Obamas to attend a meeting with former US president Donald Trump. Our multi-coloured monarch was a true fashion icon, with light-up-a-room statement dressing that will be missed the world over.

Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she is welcomed by childen during a visit to St Petersburg on 19th October, 1994 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth ll takes a photograph as she visits Muscat with Sultan Qaboos on 28th February 1979, in Muscat, Oman. Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II relaxes at Sandringham with her corgis. Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
The Queen in Luton for the opening of the new terminal at Luton Airport. With her is The Lord-Lieutenant. Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images
Former US President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump stand with Queen Elizabeth II on the dais in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle on 13th July, 2018 in Windsor, England. Photo by Richard Pohle – WPA Pool/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II attending a Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on The Sandringham estate, Norfolk on 25th December, 2013. Photo by Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock