Queen Elizabeth Wardrobe On Display For First Time At Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II’s entire official wardrobe will be put on display from July 23 to October 2, according to the Telegraph. For the first time, royals and commoners alike will have the queen’s choices of gowns and hats in their full view — but excluding her bags and shoes. The exhibition comes after the queen of England has had ample time to celebrate her 90th birthday. The highlights of the exhibition are as follows according to the source.

“The show will see the queen’s wedding and coronation gowns on display together for the first time, as well the public debut of many outfits including the James Bond dress, which was made by Angela Kelly in duplicate under top secret conditions so that the stunt double could wear an identical dress for a parachute jump.”

Hat aficionados are especially invited as around 80 of the queen’s hats will also be available during the exhibition. In addition, fashionistas will find an explanation as to the British monarch’s color and other choices, thus revealing her fashion sense in a big way. The exhibit is called “Fashioning A Reign, the Buckingham Palace Summer Exhibition.”

As such, the exhibit will show the queen “swapping the glamorous black ballgowns of her youth as a princess for color and emblems.”

Even the British monarch’s christening gown will be on display in an exhibit that will be as up-to-date as the neon green dress that Queen Elizabeth wore on her 90th birthday. A recurring theme of the exhibit is that the monarch has used “fashion for diplomacy, charming the world with the judicious use of symbols, color and subtle compliments to the nations she visits.”

A perfect example of adherence to this theme is Queen Elizabeth’s dress for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, where the monarch reportedly chose a neutral color in order to avoid the perception of taking sides with any country or countries during the ceremony. You would think that maybe the queen rather fancies the peachy, corally pink color of the outfit. But as the exhibit will show, there was a more pressing and overriding concern that the main representative of the British royalty had to adhere to in this particular case.

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“She has dedicated her life to the service of the nation, sacrificing her time, daydreams of retirement and a good deal of privacy for the good of the country and Commonwealth,” the Telegraph emphasized. Queen Elizabeth’s fashion sense reflects this dedication. The source notes that in cases where she needs to pay subtle compliments to a welcoming country, the queen would put tasteful hints of her intention into her dress.

Here are some fine examples of this fashion approach.

  • A dress embroidered with Wattle sprigs, Australia’s national floral emblem
  • A gown with subtle Olympic rings on the royal’s visit to Montreal in 1976 when the Canadian city hosted the Olympics
  • Maple leaf on a dress bound for Canada
  • Tree peonies on her visit to China
  • A light green dress to compliment the Ethiopian flag

For her coronation day, the source recalls that the young Queen Elizabeth would insist that her gown “was embroidered with colored emblems of the four home nation and nine dominion symbols.”

And so in summary, Queen Elizabeth has a very singular fashion sense that knows how to emphasize particular details without overdoing it. However, for her 90th birthday celebration in London, the queen had decided to ditch subtlety altogether, as she decided to go all out with a neon green dress that reminded some people of Kermit the Frog.

According to the Huffington Post, Queen Elizabeth did not seem to make any particular fashion statement except that maybe she just wanted to make sure that everybody could see her. After all, the entire pageantry celebrating her birthday was awash in pomp, so she just wanted to double up in order not to be missed. Whatever her personal reason is, Queen Elizabeth can pretty well dress however she wants; after all, she is the queen.

The bright green dress, the Telegraph reminds us, is one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth’s wardrobe exhibition which opens this Saturday at the Buckingham Palace.

[Photo by Frank Augstein/AP Images]