A new book by the Queen’s dresser and right hand woman has been revealing all the royal sartorial secrets, and we’re obsessed. We learned that her Majesty keeps diamonds sparkling with gin and water, and that there is indeed someone who breaks in her shoes.
However, we’ve also learned that even though royals always looks impeccable, even they are prone to fashion mistakes once in a while.
In a new excerpt from her book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, published in HELLO!, Angela Kelly confided that the Queen once had to wear a hat that she knew wouldn’t suit her at all.
She explains, ‘We were planning for Her Majesty’s upcoming tour of Malaysia, where she would be closing the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. As the weather is so warm over there, it was decided that Her Majesty would wear a dress but no jacket or coat, and she chose a vibrant deep coral for the outfit and matching hat.
‘On the day of the ceremony, I was helping Her Majesty get ready and went to take the hat out of the box in which it had been carefully packed. As soon as I had it in my hands, I knew, deep down, that it was not going to suit the Queen. With a commanding shell-like brim and a very large flower on the reverse, it was certainly an interesting and beautifully made piece, but I had a gut feeling that it would not complement the outfit or enhance Her Majesty’s features.’
Luckily, the dresser had an unexpected solution to the debacle: wearing the hat backwards.
She says, ‘As the morning went on, I became increasingly worried, so I decided I had to raise my concern and face the consequences later. So, I waited for the Queen to come into the dressing room, took a deep breath, and said, “Your Majesty, I don’t think you should wear this hat. It is not the right design for you and it won’t suit you.” A long silence followed before she eventually looked up and said, “Well, it’s a bit late now. What else can I wear? I must wear it.” Although I admired her pragmatic approach, I was insistent. I told her I had been examining the hat from all angles and that it would be better worn back to front.
‘The Queen couldn’t believe that this would work. I told her that, if she did not believe me, she should consult the Duke of Edinburgh, as he always tells her the truth. At this point, I left the room feeling somewhat terrified, as you can imagine. Before long, Her Majesty called me back. She had consulted His Royal Highness and, after an amusing conversation, in which I imagine The Duke didn’t hold back, the Queen had decided to wear the hat the wrong way around, as I had suggested.’
Looking at the tour pictures, you never know.