The Queen: a British fashion icon

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Chelsea Pier during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the River Thames in London Credit: PA

As the Queen celebrates her sixty years on the throne, we take a look at the monarch's role as a fashion icon.

When you think of the Queen's style what first comes to mind? For many, it is bright colours, colour blocking, pearl necklaces, beautifully ornate brooches, white gloves, and co-ordinated hats and handbags.

Whether a royal visit, state engagement, or any other occasion, Her Majesty is always well turned out.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Chelsea Pier during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the River Thames in London Credit: PA

The editor of Tatler, Kate Reardon says of the Queen’s fashion:

HM Queen Elizabeth ll at the second day of Royal Ascot Credit: PA

Here is a look back at how Elizabeth II's style has evolved through the years.


The Queen really came into her own in terms of fashion in the 1940s, her wardrobe featured many fine evening dresses and man behind many of these creations was Norman Hartnell.

Hartnell's signature style of the 1940s and 1950s was full-skirted dresses in sumptuous silks and duchesse satins.

It was Hartnell who created her wedding and coronation dresses.

Queen Elizabeth II , wearing a gown designed by Norman Hartnell for her Coronation Credit: PA/PA Archive
Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a Royal Film Premiere in 1952 Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Hardy Amies also began designing clothes for the Queen in the 1950s. He was highly regarded for his tailoring and was responsible for much of her daywear.


Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Hospital garden party, Chelsea, London Credit: PA


Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the Princess Margaret Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand in 1977 Credit: PA


Queen Elizabeth II during a visit she made to Rousillon Barracks, the headquarters of the Royal Military Police. Credit: Ron Bell/PA Archive


The Queen and Queen Mother watch the Derby at Epsom in matching outfits in 1994 Credit: Martin Keene/PA Archive

The designer Hardy Amies was behind the bow-decorated dress that the Queen wore when she met with South African President Nelson Mandela in 1996.

South Africa modelled its "Mandela plan" on Operation London Bridge. Credit: John Stillwell/PA
The Queen, wearing a headscarf, tours the Shah Faisal mosque in Islamabad Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive


Queen Elizabeth II pictured as she arrives at State House in Entebbe, Uganda Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Archive

The Queen has been cited as a fashion inspiration to many, and Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana even used the Royal as an inspiration for their A/W collection in 2008.

The duo channelled her Balmoral style for their catwalk collection which included midi length skirts, and plenty of tartan. Silk scarves were worn over the models hair and tied neatly under the chin.

Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana even used the Queen as a muse for their A/W collection in 2008. Credit: Dolce and Gabanna/PA

In 2009, top British model, Agyness Deyn - who cites the Queen as her fashion icon - emulated the monarch for a front cover fashion shoot for Love Magazine.

In this interview with The Daily Telegraph, Deyn explains why the Queen is her fashion inspiration.

The dress for the service of Thanksgiving was designed by Angela Kelly

The Queen arrives for the Service of Thanksgiving Credit: ITV

She's designed many of the queen's outfits in recent years, including the one she wore to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Queen Elizabeth II with Carole Middleton and the Duchess of Cornwall after Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding Credit: PA

Kelly also designed the gold lame dress adorned with Swarovski crystals which was worn by the Queen as she watched the Diamond Jubilee Concert held in her honour on Monday 4 June.

Queen Elizabeth II meets Cheryl Cole backstage at The Diamond Jubilee Concert Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire