Top 10 Iconic Queen Elizabeth Fashion Moments
VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb
WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
These iconic Queen Elizabeth fashion moments will reign for generations. Our countdown includes Malta visit, her coronation outfit, floral in Mexico, and more!
Top 10 Iconic Queen Elizabeth Fashion Moments
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Iconic Queen Elizabeth Fashion Moments.
For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the most memorable outfits that Queen Elizabeth II has ever worn.
Did your favorite make the list? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Childhood Portrait (1935)
In 1936, Queen Elizabeth’s life changed forever when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Elizabeth’s father became King George VI and Elizabeth herself suddenly became the heir presumptive. In this photo from 1935, Elizabeth enjoys some of the last vestiges of innocence before her entire future is altered. She looks youthful and happy in a flouncy dress that wouldn’t be out of style today. Also check out those fingerless gloves! They look like they could be straight out of a Madonna video from the 1980s.
#9: Royal Windsor Horse Show (1988)
The Queen’s love for horses is well-documented. In fact, her involvement in breeding racehorses is one of her main recreational activities. While we usually see the Queen all done up for formal occasions, one instance where she dresses down in public is when attending equestrian events. This image from the 1988 Royal Windsor Horse Show displays the Queen in a casual but smart outfit that’s perfectly appropriate for the occasion. She wears tall riding boots with slacks and a kerchief over her hair to protect it from the wind. The checked tweed blazer brings the whole look together.
#8: Malta Visit (1951)
The second major change in Elizabeth’s life took place in February of 1952 when her father died when he was just 56 years old, leaving the young Princess to reign over England. One year prior, however, before becoming Queen, she visited Malta where Prince Philip was stationed when serving in the Royal Navy. On one occasion, she wore this gorgeous lavender A-line ball gown with a white fur shawl over her shoulders. Her tiara and dazzling necklace show off her regal side, displaying a woman who is ready to reign as Queen—at least as far as her wardrobe goes.
#7: Floral in Mexico (1975)
In 1975, Queen Elizabeth made a state visit to Mexico, going to Cozumel, Guanajuato, Mérida, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Tizimín, and Veracruz. When visiting a Mexican pyramid on one occasion and posing for photos, she wore a prim floral dress with short sleeves that hit just below the knee with white gloves. Her matching white purse made for a well-coordinated look. The aesthetic of the dress wouldn’t be out of place in today’s fashion magazines, and marks an instance where the queen wore a bold print instead of her more expected solid colors.
#6: Prince Charles & Lady Diana Spencer's Wedding (1981)
On Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding day, all eyes were on the radiant bride in her history-making, 25-foot train dress by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. But the Queen herself also wore a memorable outfit that day, through it certainly didn’t make the headlines like Diana’s did. She wore an understated dress in a bright blue shade with a loose swing style. Her purse and hat were made in a perfectly matching color for a monochromatic look—something the Queen has come to be known for. Her pearl necklace and brooch bring the entire look together.
#5: Welcoming the 44th President & the First Lady of the US to the UK (2011)
In 2011, then-US President Barack and his wife Michelle Obama visited the UK and met with Queen Elizabeth. While the American power couple both looked statuesque in sleek black ensembles, the Queen stood out in an all-white outfit - which is a color she allegedly prefers for state occasions. She scintillated in a dazzling gown with statement earrings and a necklace to match. While the Queen is known for matching her bag to her dress, on this occasion she made the bold choice to go with a gold handbag. It may have been a risk, but it totally worked.
#4: Prince William & Catherine Middleton's Wedding (2011)
The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Prince William and Kate Middleton), was a hotly anticipated event. While the buzz may have been around what Kate would wear, the Queen breezed in wearing a cheery yellow dress and matching coat. The outfit was perfect for the springtime nuptials, and as she often does for special occasions, the Queen paired it with a pearl necklace as well as a brooch, this time the Queen Mary's True Lovers Knot. Angela Kelly designed the Queen’s yellow hat, which topped off the ensemble.
#3: Meeting with the 35th President & the First Lady of the US in the UK (1961)
In 1961, John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie went to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. The meeting was a controversial one, with the Kennedys supposedly insulting both the palace and the Queen herself after the fact. But regardless of what Jackie might have had to say about her outfit, the Queen looked radiant in a beautiful blue ball gown. Sure, the style may have been a little dated at the time, with Kennedy herself in a more modern, column-style dress, but the Queen’s classic pick has a timeless appeal that still looks great even decades later.
#2: Her Coronation Outfit (1953)
While Elizabeth technically ascended to the throne in 1952 upon her father’s death, she only had her coronation the following year. For the occasion, British designer Norman Hartnell designed not only the Queen’s gown, but also the outfits of everyone in her party. The Queen herself wore a white silk dress with delicate embroidery featuring flowers representing all of the Commonwealth’s territories around the world in the 1950s. It took nine proposals before they landed on the right design, but all of the designer’s hard work was clearly worthwhile. This dress is sure to go down in history as one of the most memorable gowns ever worn.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Outfit for a Concert at the Royal Festival Hall (1953)
A Regal Gown Fit for a Queen
Prince Charles & Camilla Parker Bowles' Wedding (2005)
The Bride Didn't Wear White, but the Queen Did
Opera Outfit (1948)
Princess Elizabeth Looks Luxe in Fur
Elizabeth Line Outfit (2016)
This Cheeky Outfit Matches the Crossrail Railway Line
#1: Her Wedding Dress (1947)
Before designing her coronation gown, Norman Hartnell crafted then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown for her marriage to Philip Mountbatten, later known as Prince Philip. In the wake of World War II, materials for clothing were still being rationed, so the young Princess actually had to use ration coupons to buy supplies for the wedding dress. The silk gown featured long sleeves, a high neckline, and a fitted bodice. Like much of Hartnell’s work, it featured delicate embroidery with designs of both orange blossoms and star lilies. Did you know that Elizabeth’s tiara broke on the morning of her wedding? Luckily, there was court staff on hand to fix it before her walk down the aisle.