To celebrate the Queen ringing in her 90th year, three special exhibitions have been put together to show the evolution of her unique dress sense from childhood to present day.‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from the Queen’s Wardrobe’ will see the public welcomed in to Queen Elizabeth’s official residences from July 23rd to October 2nd.
The aim of the exhibition is to chart significant events in the monarch’s life and the nation’s history through a stunning selection of dresses and accessories. Overall there are 150 of the Queen’s outfits displayed in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The ensembles exhibited are chosen because of their close association with each location. Highlights at the Palace of Holyroodhouse exhibition include beautifully crafted evening and daywear from notable couturiers like Sir Norman Hartnell and Ian Thomas.
One of the most striking pieces is the gold dress with tartan sash that the Queen wore for the Gillies’ Ball, Balmoral Castle, in 1971. At Windsor Castle you’ll be able to see examples of the work of some royal dressmakers and learn about the specialist techniques of designers and milliners. There are magnificent evening gowns on display, next to fancy-dress costumes worn by the young Princess Elizabeth.
One of the highlights here is a blue silk and silk chiffon dress worn for a state visit to Japan in 1975. You can see Queen Elizabeth’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform at Buckingham Palace, which she wore when she became the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services full time. The uniform created for the Queen when she became Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards in 1952 is also on display, alongside a vermicelli design dress she wore at a state banquet on Italy in 1961. If you’re visiting London between now and October, you should add ‘Fashioning a Reign’ to your list of must-see sights and attractions. It will give you a unique insight into the life of Queen Elizabeth and how she has cemented herself as one of Britain’s most important monarchs.