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Queen Elizabeth II was known for her 70 years of unwavering service to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth — but she’ll also be forever remembered for her regal sense of style.
The late monarch, who died on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96, was as much of a fashion icon in her younger years as Princess Diana or Kate Middleton, inspiring trends and embracing the latest designers of the 1950s, 1960s and beyond.
An expert at “diplomatic dressing,” the Queen often wove symbolic elements and colors into her outfits, inspiring younger royals like the new Princess of Wales and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex to incorporate similar touches into their own wardrobes.
What’s more, many of Her Majesty’s jewels and tiaras — and even one particularly memorable gown — have been shared with other members of the monarchy, ensuring these precious pieces can live on.
In the latest episode of “Royal Roundtable” (and below), we’re exploring the lasting impact of a few of the Queen’s most iconic outfits.
Wedding dress (1947)
When Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947, she walked down the aisle wearing a stunning Norman Hartnell wedding gown covered in 10,000 seed pearls and elaborate embroidery.
Women in the United Kingdom were so excited about the wedding that they even mailed their own post-World War II ration coupons to the princess so she could put them toward the pricey design. While she had to return them, the touching gesture showed how much people cared for the future queen.
Coronation gown (1953)
Queen Elizabeth II made sure her coronation dress reflected her new role not just in the UK, but across the Commonwealth. Her short-sleeved, heavily embroidered Norman Hartnell gown featured national symbols such as English roses, Scottish thistles, Irish shamrocks and Australian wattles.
More than six decades later, Meghan Markle would take a similar approach with her wedding veil, which she had hand-embroidered with flora from each Commonwealth country — along with Wintersweet, which grows on the Kensington Palace grounds, and the California Poppy, a nod to her birth state.
“Lawrence of Arabia” premiere look (1962)
Her Majesty wore the gown her granddaughter, Princess Beatrice, would later re-fashion as a wedding dress to the premiere of “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962.
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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day.
Benjamin Wheeler via Getty Image
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