Thursday, October 20, 2011

Royal commission: The Queen's Australian tour wardrobe

reuters via daylife

Because noone ever seems to track what eightysomethings wear on the red carpet, frockwriter thought we would buck with tradition and clock the frocks in which HM Queen Elizabeth II rocks up during her 10-day visit to Australia. This is her 16th trip downunder and many predict it may be her last. After touching down yesterday in a British Airways 777 at Canberra's Fairbairn RAAF base - welcomed to Australia, for the first time in history, by an all-female Australian power posse in Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Governor General Quentin Bryce and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher - HM wore an aquamarine military-style coat by British couturier Stewart Parvin; a short-brimmed aquamarine straw hat festooned with grey silk flowers and plumage by Rachel Trevor-Morgan and a wattle and tea-tree blossom brooch designed by Paul Schneller, a sentimental favourite from the Royal Collection. Commissioned by Melbourne jeweller William Drummond & Co, the subsequently much-copied yellow and white diamond brooch was presented to the Queen by Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1954, during her first Australian visit, reportedly eliciting the response: "I value this magnificent brooch not only for its artistic beauty but as the symbol of the kindness and loyalty of my people in Australia". Corgi suit-clad Republicans notwithstanding, the "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!"chant that erupted yesterday would indicate that she still has quite some local support.

getty via daylife

For today's meeting with the Governor General at Government House, followed by a tour of Canberra's Floriade flower show (below), the Queen wore a lavender ensemble: double-breasted coat by Karl Rehse for Karl Ludwig Couture, a floral Stewart Parvin dress and a Philip Somerville hat.

the daily telegraph

The Queen's wardrobe is organised by her stylist, Angela Kelly, whose official title is  Personal Assistant, Adviser and Curator to Her Majesty the Queen (Jewellery, Insignias and Wardrobe)

No word yet on the sensible black pumps worn on both occasions (quite possibly royal warrant holder Anello & Davide) or the boxy black calfskin tote. The Queen's preferred handbag supplier is Launer London, however the double 'U' clasp is different to the one currently used by Launer.

One thing we can tell you about the bag is that, just like the wattle brooch, it's from the Royal vault.

The Queen carried the very same bag on at least two previous international tours, some 40 years apart: to meet US Presidents Richard Nixon in 1970 and later, Bill Clinton. Both eventually disgraced, of course. Probably more of a coincidence, than a coded message to Gillard.

via daily acid


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