13 of the Queen's most incredible fashion moments

Queen Elizabeth II has reached a major milestone – on 6 February 2022 it was 70 years since her accession to the throne.

Over the years, she’s proved herself a veritable style icon. Here we look back at how the Queen’s fashion has evolved, from her days as a young royal to now.

1. Royal bridesmaid

Royalty - Hon. Patricia Mountbatten and Lord Brabourne Wedding - Romsey Abbey
The bridesmaids at the wedding of the Honourable Patricia Mountbatten and Lord Brabourne. Left to right; Princess Elizabeth, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Princess Margaret at Romsey Abbey. (PA)

In 1946, then 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth acted as bridesmaid at the wedding of the Honourable Patricia Mountbatten and Lord John Brabourne, wearing a typically 1940s style frock with a square neckline and short, puffy sleeves.

2. Regal bride

Royalty - Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh Wedding - Westminster Abbey
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, leave Westminster Abbey after the wedding ceremony. (PA)

For her own nuptials at Westminster Abbey, the Queen selected a design submitted by her chief couturier Norman Hartnell. The duchesse satin gown was decorated with floral embroidery and came with a 13-foot train.

Read: Stunning royal wedding dresses

3. Coronation gown

Royalty - Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - London
Queen Elizabeth II with her Maids of Honour after the coronation. (PA)

The Queen’s coronation in 1953 called for another grand gown. Norman Hartnell was enlisted once more, designing a silk floor-length dress to which colourful embroideries were added at the suggestion of the Queen.

4. Polo watching

Royalty - Queen Elizabeth II and Children - Smith's Lawn, Windsor Great Park
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park. (PA)

Seen in a less formal setting in 1956, the Queen chose a simple short-sleeved dress, lace-up shoes and her trusty black handbag for an outing with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and one of her beloved corgis, to watch the Duke of Edinburgh compete in a polo match.

5. Pastel portrait

Royalty - Royal Family - Frogmore House, Windsor
The Royal Family in the grounds of Frogmore House, Windsor. (PA)

In this family portrait from 1968, we can see the first signs of what will become Her Majesty’s signature look: a block colour coat dress with black patent court shoes.

6. 1970s suit

Royalty - Queen and Family at Balmoral Castle
The Queen and Prince Andrew in the grounds of Balmoral, Scotland. (PA)

Embracing a bold ’70s print, the Queen topped this two-piece skirt suit with a headscarf – another of the monarch’s sartorial calling cards.

7. Wedding guest

Royalty - Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer Wedding - London
Part of the royal family, including the Queen, Princess Margaret (wearing orange), Earl Spencer, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Andrew, on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral after the wedding of Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. (PA)

Taking a leaf out of her mother’s style book, for the July 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the Queen chose a flowing aquamarine pleated frock with matching handbag and hat, accessorised with white gloves, shoes and pearls.

Read: Five things you didn’t know about Princess Diana’s wedding dress

8. Bright and beautiful

QUEEN INDIA 10
The Queen receives a ceremonial sword after her tour of the Golden Temple of Amritsar. (John Stilwell/PA)

During a visit to a temple in India in 1997, the monarch stood out in a fabulous orange chiffon dress and jacket with a matching hat.

9. Lavender moment

Royal wedding/Queen smiles
The Queen watches her youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie Rhys-Jones leave in an open-topped carriage after their wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. (John Stillwell/PA)

Showing off another glamorous wedding outfit, for the nuptials of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, the Queen donned a lavender hued lace gown with tonal accessories and a feathered headpiece.

10. Sequin style

The Queen meets Irish boy band Westlife, backstage after the 1999 Royal Variety Performance
The Queen meets Irish boy band Westlife backstage after the 1999 Royal Variety Performance. (David Jones/PA)

Later the same year, Her Majesty sported possibly her most colourful outfit yet seen in the public, a long-sleeved gown with a sequinned top and bright yellow skirt for the Royal Variety Performance.

11. Crowning glory

Royalty - Queen Elizabeth II Visit to Canada
Queen Elizabeth II arrives for a dinner hosted by the Canadian government. (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Pulling out all the stops for a dinner hosted by the Canadian government in 2005, the Queen donned a white gown with a spectacular tiara and fur stole, contrasting the pale ensemble with bold sapphire jewellery.

Read: What would life be like without Queen Elizabeth II?

12. Lemon look

Queen Elizabeth II leaves Westminster Abbey in London after the royal wedding in 2011
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Westminster Abbey in London after the royal wedding in 2011. (Steve Parsons/PA)

Opting for a lemon yellow version of her signature look for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, the Queen teamed a long-sleeved dress with a floral embellished hat and her trademark Launer handbag.

13. Festive fashion

Queen Elizabeth II stands with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle
Queen Elizabeth II stands with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle. (Glyn Kirk/PA)

Her Majesty chose a suitably festive hue for one of her few public appearances in 2020, donning a red coat and hat for a Christmas event with other members of the royal family at Windsor Castle.

What’s your favourite royal fashion moment? Why not share it with our members in the comments section below?

– With PA

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Written by Katie Wright

Fashion and beauty editor at the Press Association.

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