Fashioning A Reign: First look at the Queen’s 90th birthday exhibition

The largest collection of the Queen's wardrobe goes on view...

The Queen’s big birthday is here and there’s some fabulous ways to celebrate. But this latest exhibition has got us the most excited as Fashioning A Reign: 90 Years Of Style From The Queen’s Wardrobe is the largest ever collection of the Queen’s outfits to go on view.

Available to see at the Queen’s Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the exhibition features 150 of Her Majesty’s favourite outfits – from her now-vintage ballgowns to those on-point coordinating hats.

The collection is showcased in three separate locations, starting in Edinburgh, before going on display at Buckingham Palace in August and then heading to Windsor Castle in September.

So what relics, exactly, has our stylish Queen dug out of her wardrobe to show us? Behold our top picks, below…

1. Sir Norman Hartnell
A silk faille evening gown worn the Queen at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, during the State Visit of King Olav of Norway in 1962. This one’s so princess-worthy, it wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney film.


2. Sir Norman Hartnell

Norman Hartnell strikes again with this pale green crinoline gown made of silk chiffon and embroidered with sequins and pearls galore. Worn by Her Majesty The Queen in 1957 during her visit to the United States of America as a guest of President Eisenhower. 

3. Ian Thomas
A black silk velvet and taffeta dress worn by Her Majesty The Queen in 1980 to meet Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Sober, but stylish.

4. John Anderson
A silk evening dress embroidered with fan-shaped beads and sequins worn for the Commonwealth Heads of Government reception held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 1997.

5. Stewart Parvin
A classic combo for Her Majesty – a silk dress with coordinating white jacquard coat and pink hat designed by milliner Philip Somerville. Worn for a garden party in 2009. 

6. Norman Hartnell
Isn’t it interesting that so many of The Queen’s picks are designed by Norman Hartnell? This turquoise number comes with a matching bolero jacket and was worn to the wedding of her sister Princess Margaret and Mr Antony Armstrong-Jones on 6th May 1960.

7. Norman Hartnell
Well we can see why Her Majesty would pick this tartan sash gown to be part of the Scottish leg of the exhibition. Originally worn for the Gillies Ball at Balmoral Castle in 1971.

8. Sandra Murray
This purple coat made of a silk-wool blend and its coordinating shawl, made of Isle of Skye tartan, was worn by The Queen for the official opening of the Scottish Parliament on 1 July 1999.

Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe runs from Thursday, 21 April 2016 to Sunday, 8 January 2017. 

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