Is it bad form to talk about royal fashion at a time like this? Many fans of Kate and Meghan thought so, and announced a moratorium on identifying the outfits they wear during the official mourning period that follows. the death of the queen on Sept 8. However, Queen Elizabeth herself was a lifelong fashion enthusiast who lived by the neon-fed sartorial motto “I have to be seen to be believed,” and may have enjoyed the dramatic, if staid styles worn in her honor at her funeral this year. week.
Queen Elizabeth used her ensembles as a primary way of communicating with us. (And her staff: She moved her signature Mark Cross handbag from one hand to the other to signal when she was ready to move from one interlocutor to another.) Her brooches alone were numerous and full enough to to fill their own brooches. semiotic dictionary all on its own. It appears that a torch has been handed to Princess Charlotte, who debuted her very first royal brooch at her great-grandmother’s funeral, a small diamond horseshoe given to her by ‘Gan-Gan’.
And this week’s cheers about Harry (and Andrew) wearing or not wearing ceremonial uniforms at mourning events — an honor bestowed on the monarch for very, very different reasons — only underscored how important dress is to the monarchy. The Queen’s Funeral, the last act in 10 days of pageantry that has paid tribute to the Royal Family in many ways, not least through the black clothing and meaningful jewelry and medals they have worn. Fittingly among the guests was Angela Kelly’s own old “dresser” and confidante, in a black floral hat and triple pearl necklace, who was responsible for designing and creating many of her colorful looks, and was so trusted by her employer that she was authorized to write three books about her time in the Queen’s service.
As on many royal occasions, hats were a defining sartorial feature of the day – although the ubiquity of black mesh veils underscored the “we’re definitely not in Ascot” mood. Traditional hatter Karyn Ruiz of Toronto’s Lilliput Hats points out that “mourning veils” are a long-standing tradition and also a useful accessory if you’ve been crying all night. “Normally, a mourning veil is worn as a gesture of modesty. The wearer can grieve visibly, and the veil allows for a little more privacy to do that,” she says. It acts as a shield when you feel vulnerable, as no doubt many members of the royal family did when they said goodbye in front of millions. people watching the funeral, which was actually the first state funeral ever televised.” Alternatively, the wearer may simply not want any outward sign of mourning or non-mourning to be seen by the general public. In the case of the veils we saw at the funeral, I believe it was in keeping with a tradition of modesty and respect,” said Ruiz. “I also suspect it was an emotionally charged day for relatives and others in the area [the queen].”
Read on for an overview of some of the recognizable faces you may have seen in the pews of Westminster Abbey and what they may have been trying to communicate through what they were wearing.
Catherine, Princess of Wales
It’s been a marathon week for the royal, formerly known as the Duchess of Cambridge (which she still is, though her new senior title trumps the lesser one she used to use). At every step, Kate followed in the footsteps of the monarch who accompanied her, using her outfits to pay subtle tribute: she carried a black bag with a handle, like the one the Queen loved best; wearing a three-strand pearl necklace in a nod to the necklace style that the queen had hardly ever been seen without.
The funeral was no exception: Kate wore a crisp black Alexander McQueen coat dress, which she also has in white, and wore this year’s Trooping the Colour, a celebration of the monarch’s birthday. She paired it with a pearl necklace and earrings that belonged to the Queen – and which she had occasionally lent to Diana – and which she wore to Prince Philip’s funeral for the first time last year. Her wide-brimmed hat belonged to the royal milliner Philip Treacy, and while the net’s veil was a sign of respect, the effect of it all was just incredibly glamorous.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
The Duchess of Sussex had one of the most daring sartorial briefs of the day: Look appropriate for the occasion, but not as if you’re “trying to steal all the attention,” and pay tribute to the Queen knowing that whatever sentimental gesture you’re making, are the tabloids going to accuse you of trying to “make it all about you” anyway, with a juxtaposition of five protocol “rules” that broke you by, say, daring to hold your husband’s hand in a special emotionally draining time for him.
In the end, Meghan went for a black Stella McCartney cape dress; a sweet throwback to what she wore when she and the queen went on their first solo engagement together, paired with the same earrings she wore all week, diamonds and pearls the queen gave her in 2018.
Meghan is pictured above with Sophie of Wessex, wife of the Queen’s youngest son, Edward, who was particularly close to her mother-in-law, and was seen pulling tissues from her pocket during the funeral to clean both her own and hers. sweep. husband’s tears. (Her daughter, Princess Louise, was also visibly moved later in the day, which is evident given that the family lived in Windsor and spent a lot of time there with the Queen.) Sophie wore a jacket embroidered with lily of the valley — the queen’s favorite flower.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie
In what may have been odd timing for a hat-based redemption moment — Google “Toilet Seat Hat Royal Wedding 2012” if you’re not aware — the Queen’s granddaughter and Prince Andrew’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, looked utterly flawless. from her bow-adorned pillbox head to tuxedo-esque jacket to towering stiletto-clad toes.
Her younger sister, Eugenie, looked equally stylish in a wide-brimmed black hat with veil, a coat with sculptural gold buttons and in a particularly pretty touch, heels studded with pearls, a fashionable nod to the Queen’s beloved accessory. In an interesting detail, Eugenie carried Gabriele Hearst’s prima “Diana” top-handle bag, which she also wore to Prince Philip’s funeral — and could also be taken as an acknowledgment of her late aunt, who had a wide-brimmed black rocked. hat or two of her own in her time.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
The somewhat elusive royal Princess Charlene of Monaco attended the funeral service with her husband, Prince Albert, on the occasion of one of her first major international events since the strange case of her extended absence from Monaco last year when she was “stuck” in her native South Africa due to a mysterious illness, and was not seen with her husband for months. Her undercut, which she shaved during that time, is still visible here beneath her simple black hat.
Fergie’s attendance at the funeral — and sitting in the second row, next to her daughters — was quite a big deal, considering how rocky the former Duchess of York’s royal road was. (Scandal-prone is a soft way of putting it, especially when paired with her disgraced ex-husband she vocally supports, Prince Andrew.) Still, she lives on the grounds of Windsor Castle — and was the one who quickly taught Meghan to make a curtsy for her impromptu first meeting with the Queen — and maintained a relationship with her ex-mother-in-law. Fergie wore a swallow brooch, believed to symbolize the queen’s ghost “returning home.”
Carole Middleton, mother of Princess Catherine, represented the Middletons at the funeral along with her husband, Michael. Her necklace, another triple pearl necklace, had a similar design to that of her daughter, aka the next Queen of Great Britain.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregory-Trudeau, were present at the funeral service (in an odd detail, the prime minister was caught on camera on Saturday broadcasting the Queen tune “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the lobby of a London hotel, accompanied by the Quebec musician and fellow guest Gregory Charles). In a more traditional tribute to the Queen and a diplomatic gesture, Sophie wore a lace insert dress and a maple leaf brooch – the Queen owned a very similar one.
In addition to so many royal attendees, the 2,000-strong audience was packed with political leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a striking dress embellished with a fringe detail that mimics a traditional Maori feather cloak, custom made by New Zealand designer Kiri Nathan. The day before the funeral, Ardern told BBC News that the Queen had given her valuable advice on having a baby while leading a country when they met in 2018, when Ardern had just been elected and was pregnant with her daughter. ‘I said to her, ‘How did you manage?’ And I remember she just said, “Well, go ahead.” And that was actually probably the best and most factual advice I could have.”