The late Queen’s midlife fashion crisis and how she got her mojo back

Diana was pointing out the glamor deficit. In a rebellious break from the royal convention of wearing British design, the former Princess of Wales first wore Versace in 1991 – a pale gray skirt suit that was surprisingly neat, demure and so unlike Versace that the The image wasn’t much commented on until years later. It was to prove far more important than a neat dove-grey suit has a right to be, ushering in a more confident, elegant and grown-up princess.

Gone were the gadgets of the Dynasty Di years and in their place came a series of elegant and sophisticated outfits – half Jackie Kennedy and half young Elizabeth, which gave her a determined new glamour, more and more like a stateswoman. The Queen, on the other hand, had yet to meet Angela Kelly, the woman who would dust off her image and sprinkle some of the old magic. Kelly joined the Royal Household as one of Her Majesty’s Dressers in 1994, gradually rising through the ranks until in 2008 she took responsibility for all of the late Queen’s clothing, jewelery and regalia.

Prior to this, for some time, the Queen was in the hands of traditional British male designers who, though respectful, capable and diligent, lacked the je ne sais quoi to express the flair and “glitter” of the late queen. Often the results were the opposite.

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