With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II it seemed like a good time to celebrate her style, which was completely identifiable as she had a very strong personal brand image.
The reason for this is that her style needed to be consistent (which is an important aspect of creating a strong style and personal brand) so that she could easily be seen and identified in large crowds.
She tended to wear block-coloured coat outfits with matching hats (though a floral dress may peek out from underneath some of her coat ensembles) in every colour of the rainbow though she usually carried a black patent Launer handbag. Given that so many wear neutrals and black so much, it made it easy to spot her in vast crowds so people could easily say “I saw the Queen”. The hats are a part of this – it helps to make her taller so more easily spotted when crowds are 10-15 people deep, and in a way, her hats are a substitute for an actual crown. Her hat can also be seen as a sign of service, that her outfits are a sort of uniform and the hat is a “reminder that the Queen is indentured to a service”, according to British historian Robert Lacey. Imagine what it would be like to be “on display” and the centre of attention, as Queen Elizabeth was for most of her adult life, I can’t imagine that having everyone staring at you all the time would be an enjoyable experience (well not for this introvert anyway!).
If she was to be pictured with guards or her offspring in military uniforms that were red, she’d always wear a contrasting colour to ensure that she stood out and could be easily identified.
Her accessories (apart from her amazing hats) are a string of 3 rows of pearls, pearl earrings and one of her huge collection brooches always pinned to her left shoulder, many of which held much sentimental value to her, some were gifts such as her basket of flowers brooch that was gifted by her parents on the birth of Prince Charles or her ruby and dimond butterfly brooch that was a gift from Prince Philip as a wedding present. She also inherited many from her mother as well as those handed down from monarch to monarch. How to choose what to wear for any occasion? Queen Eliabeth would choose a brooch to match her outfit and one that had a connection to the person, organisation or country she was visiting with. In winter either a fur collar or scarf is included and almost always gloves as well, as a way to protect her hands and herself from germs as she has to shake a lot of hands and she had no time to be sick given her very busy schedule.
Her trusty Launder handbag is always part of her ensemble and when she moves it from one hand to the other it’s an indication that she’s ready to end a chat and will place it on the table when she wants to leave a dinner or event. And popping her bag onto the floor tells her staff that she would like to be saved from an uncomfortable conversation.
What’s inside her handbag? Like many of us, mirror, lipstick, fountain pen, a portable hook to hang her handbag on a table, reading glasses, and mint lozenge, and also dog treats for her corgis, a crossword cut from the newspaper if she has time to kill, a diary, small camera and penknife (a throwback to her days as a Girl Guide).
What’s the most unusual thing you keep in your handbag?