Hits, misses and surprises on the royal circuit

What do you wear to a Diamond Jubilee? Our royal specialist weighs in on the fashion parade.

by Patricia Treble

The royal family unleashed the big fashion guns for the final, and most important, day of the Diamond Jubilee weekend (find all of our coverage here.) It was a day that started with a solemn service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral and ended with a traditional balcony scene at Buckingham Palace in front of millions of screaming Brits. So who was a stylish hit, and who swung and missed?

Andrew Winning/Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II: My heart sank when I got a good look at her Angela Kelly outfit. I wanted to like it, I truly did, but the fussy mint green fabric, the poor shaping and that rather awful chiffon scarf don’t co-exist harmoniously. Angela Kelly, who is the Queen’s dresser, threw in everything and then topped it with Swarovski crystals. The only redeeming factor is the brooch—the amazing Granny’s Chips (named because Queen Mary wore it so often) concoction of Cullinan III and IV diamonds that is a combined, mind-boggling 158 carats. It’s so heavy that outfits have to be specially reinforced so it doesn’t tear the fabric.

David Moir/Reuters

Catherine, duchess of Cambridge: The newest royal played it safe—a snore-fest—with an ecru lace Alexander McQueen, topped with a Jane Taylor hat that can be yours for a mere $1,300. She wasn’t going to repeat her crimson disaster from the Thames flotilla, which was savagely critiqued for “upstaging” the Queen. If only her posture matched her formal dress; she slouched her way through much of the cathedral service.

Andrew Winning/Reuters

Camilla, duchess of Cornwall: After years of hit-and-miss outfits, Camilla consistently wore the best clothes this jubilee weekend. On Tuesday she rocked a Bruce Oldfield coat in a taupe (or gold)-coloured log-cabin pattern, perhaps an ode to her Canadian tour in May. As always, she pulled out all the stops with her hat, this time wearing a spectacular Philip Treacy number. Totally age appropriate, totally British. Hurrah! (And way to go Charles, who finally retired his boring light grey morning coat for a black one with co-ordinated dark grey-striped trousers.)

Andrew Winning/Reuters

Sophie, countess of Wessex: At first glance, Prince Edward’s wife seems to be wearing a conservative navy suit. Then you notice the daring lace cutout sections on the skirt and jacket sleeves. So as to not distract from her fashion statement, she toned down her wildly elaborate hat style, and coordinated everything with platform shoes and purse. Bonus: Their daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, is adorable in a chiffon dress.

David Moir/Reuters

Princess Eugenie of York: She redeems herself after last year’s Vivienne Westwood horror at the royal wedding with a shapely Suzannah purple satin number that hugs her curvaceous figure perfectly. Even her Stephen Jones hat tones. (Ignore her older sister, Beatrice, dressed in a matronly blue and white outfit that looks like it was cut out of dear mama’s net and linen curtains.)




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Hits, misses and surprises on the royal circuit

  1. Wow! So wrong on all counts! The Queen looked appropriate! What an awful fashion review!

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