"Someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the queen’s hat as she went past,” her daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, explained.
The Queen Of England has a vast wardrobe of colorful, monochrome outfits for all her public events. In fact, they're so distinctive that her choice of clothes has made way for multiple books on them. Bright and vivid colors like yellow, fuchsia, purple, chartreuse, and periwinkle make her easier to spot in large crowds. If you thought it was simply because she likes bright hues. think again. There's actually a reason why Queen Elizabeth II chooses to dress in the colors of the rainbow.
"She needs to stand out for people to be able to say ‘I saw the queen’,” her daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, explained in the 2017 documentary The Queen at 90. “Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the queen’s hat as she went past.”
Though the queen has incorporated all possible colors into her wardrobe, the one shade you probably have never seen her wear is beige. Most people choose subtle colors that blend with the crowd, and if the Queen chose to wear clothes like that, the chances of her being noticed from afar are slim, states Express. In fact, Robert Hardman, the Queen's biographer, quoted the Queen once as saying, "I can never wear beige because nobody will know who I am." Hardman wrote in his book Our Queen that this is his “favorite remark she ever said."
Out of the bright colors that Queen Elizabeth chooses to wear, she loves blue. An analysis done by Vogue revealed that over the years the queen has been photographed in some shade of blue nearly 30% of the time. Angela Kelly, the Queen's sartorial advisor, and close confidante reveal what exactly happens before the Monarch chooses to dress in one of her iconic outfits, per CNN. Many of the Queen’s clothes are designed and made at the palace by Kelly and her team.
"Our role as her dressers is to ensure that Her Majesty is appropriately attired for each occasion," writes Angela Kelly in her 2019 monarch-approved memoir, The Other Side of the Coin. "I look for movement with soft light materials, and might even switch on a fan to see how they behave in a breeze...As the light changes, or when Her Majesty moves to an interior space, this will have an effect on the color and texture of the fabric, and this must be taken into account."
But, what happens to the outfits once the Queen chooses to discard them? “Queen Elizabeth’s clothes are a constant source of comment in the media. So, when she finally gets tired of it, she will hand it to one of her dressers. They can either wear it or sell it," author Brian Hoey wrote in his 2011 book, Not in Front of the Corgis, according to The Royal UK. However, not everyone will know that the clothes once belonged to the monarch.
“There is one provision. All labels must be removed and anything that could possibly identify it as having come from royalty obliterated.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Photo by Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool, (M) Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool, (R) Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool