The Who2 Blog

Queen Elizabeth’s Secret Formula For Looking Like the Queen

Queen Elizabeth photo in bright yellow dress and hat, plus pumps and purse, talking to men dressed as WWII soldiers

“[Her formula is] a series of simple shapes and color blocks. The pastel rectangle of her customary coat and the bright disk of a matching hat, the black oblong of her handbag and the generic low-heeled pumps are almost Warholian in their Pop simplicity. The outfit would say the queen even if the queen wasn’t in the outfit.”

And you thought Queen Elizabeth II just liked big cloth coats.  There’s a lot more going on there.

Photo of Queen Elizabeth in a bright aqua dress, surrounded by family, holding her hands up in delight
“If she’s coming out of Parliament in New Zealand, you have to be able to see that figure in a lemon coat and hat from far away.”
Photo of the queen, indeed, planting a tree with a spade and a pink suit
“[The Queen has] evolved a flair for making an entrance — that flash of Easter egg color — and an instinct for avoiding any wardrobe malfunction. If you cannot find a photograph of this much-photographed woman with her skirt inadvertently flying up, that is because those skirts are weighted. The armholes of her coats and jackets are cut generously to facilitate the famous windshield-wiper wave.”
Photo of the queen and her consort in the back seat of a limo, smiling at crowds)
“It doesn’t take a semiotician to read in her presentation a clear portrayal of upper-class distaste for novelty and gimmick, a resistance to foreign ideas, a reassuring matronly solidity.”
Photo of Queen Elizabeth seen from behind in the control tower at London Bridge
“‘The way she looks is instantly recognizable,’ said Sam Shahid, a branding expert behind labels like Calvin Klein… ‘Even the kids know who she is. You could show just the suit and it would still be her. You almost don’t need the face.'”
Terrific article.

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