There wasn’t a hair out of place or an unpolished shoe. Not a speck was visible on his jacket. For the grandest, the most glamorous dress code was a spectacular ceremony in pearls and pillbox hats, high heels and sharp tailoring.
For the royal family, it was an expression of grief under the spotlight, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Queen Consort, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex enjoyed little privacy under wide-brimmed hats or veils or both. And while Britain was watching the royal family, the rest of the world was watching Britain.
Contrasted with the mournful simplicity of the clergy’s white collars and rich red and gold military uniforms, the blacks are a reminder that the Queen’s death brought attention not only to current Windsors, but to the idea of Britishness as a whole. .
Following the Queen’s death, it has been a busy 10 days for milliner Stephen Jones, who set up his central London shop to sell black hats in anticipation of funeral orders.
“Everyone wants to dress appropriately, not fashionably,” says Jones. “Hats were a symbol of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, as she herself always wore them.” The most popular styles are discreet black hats in neutral textures.
As a non-working royal, the arcane rule that Prince Harry cannot wear a military uniform, despite seeing more active service than most of the family, is the kind of thing that makes the monarchy look petty and pointless in the face. critics.
But Harry made a pre-announced statement that he would wear formal clothes to ease the tension, and on the day Princess Anne wore her smart white hat and studded gloves, which looked very daring in her military attire.
At Winston Churchill’s last British state funeral in 1965, Lady Churchill was draped in a dramatic black lace gown.
Modernity has made for a full-length veil, with the length of the “bird’s nest” this time chosen by Kate and Camilla to cover half of the face. Other modern touches include a nod to the timeless Carrie Johnson in a rented Karen Millen coat dress.
In a mirror-image agreement, Kate and Meghan wore a quiet outfit to show their keen interest in the clash between Sussex and New Wales – or at least, no comment. Both women wore bowler hats – Kate softened with a small veil, Meghan’s waved with a brim.
Both opted for clean-lined, unfussy tailoring by British designers, with Meghan wearing her favorite Alexander McQueen coat dress by Stella McCartney and Kate. Only Kate’s show-stopping four-row pearl choker and matching bracelet from the late Queen’s collection hinted at the difference between their positions.
There were personal touches of beauty outside the immediate circle of mourners. Jacinda Ardern wore a traditional Maori kakahu, a feather made of feathers, a symbol of ritual and honor in New Zealand.
Princess Charlotte’s old-fashioned black hat was reminiscent of the boater worn by Madeleine Fogg, a student of Ludwig Bemelmans’ children’s books in the 1940s, while the diamond horseshoe stitch on the coat spoke sweetly of her love of horses with her great-grandmother.
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