Thursday, April 21, 2016

A 90th Birthday

His Majesty George VI (then Duke of York) and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (then Duchess of York) with the baby Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) at her christening in 1926

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is 90 today. 

Today,  21 April, is her actual birthday. She also has an official birthday which is celebrated on a Saturday in June. Why two birthdays? Well an official day to mark the Sovereigns' birthday allows for the traditional birthday parade, Trooping of the Colour, to be held when the British weather is expected to cooperate!
1928 Princess Elizabeth with her nanny-love that bonnet!

Usually the Queen spends today privately with family, but there is always a 41 gun salute at midday in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London- that's a lot of birthday bangs! I am sure today will also be host to some non-traditional events.

The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's wedding attire worn November 1947

The Queen is known for having a vast wardrobe of clothes and over the years has helped put some fashion designers on the map. Some of the designers who have dressed The Queen are:

Norman Hartnell, who began working for the then Princess Elizabeth. His dresses for her were full-skirted in beautiful silks and satins-typical 1950's.

Norman Hartnell drawing of Princess Elizabeth's going away outfit 1947

Hardy Amies in the 1960's introduced a deceptive simplicity with his tailoring skills to The Queens wardrobe. 

In the 1970's The Queen favoured an apprentice of Norman Hartnell, Ian Thomas. Ian's style was flowing chiffon dresses, reflecting the style of the decade. Maureen Rose, from the same fashion house, took over design when Ian dies in the late 80's

The Queen delivering her Christmas Day message in 1953 from Wellington, New Zealand. 

                                      Look How formally she is dressed for a radio broadcast!

John Anderson became the next designer until his death, when his business partner Karl Ludwig Rehse took over the designing and Her Majesty still wears many of his designs today.

Queen Elizabeth in a pre-Royal Ascot race 1960. Note the headscarf, which the Queen favours when dressed informally.

The youngest designer the Queen has had and who is currently designing for Her Majesty is Stewart Parvin.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Jackie Kennedy, The Queen and President Kennedy June 1961

Angela Kelly is The Queens Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser. Angela also helps design for Her Majesty, and in doing so uses a mix of old and new fabrics. Some of the material they incorporate dates from when Her Majesty The Queen was just the Princess Elizabeth. It has been in the Royal Stash for over 63 years!

 The hem of The Queen's dress, which was worn to the State Banquet at the President's House in Trinidad, 26 November 2009. The design features embroidered versions of the national birds of Trinidad and Tobago: the Scarlet Ibis (left) and the Cocrico of Tobago.
I hope you enjoyed the photos I found for this post. I tried to find ones that are a little bit more rare or unusual and show HM Queen Elizabeth in everything from everyday wear to very formal!

To celebrate The Queen's 90th birthday three exhibitions, Fashioning a Reign are being held at her official residences, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. There will be over 150 dresses shown between the three exhibits, each piece chosen for its connection to the site.

For more information visit:


  1. I enjoyed this post and the pictures. Wish I could see the exhibits of her clothing! Thanks.

  2. Meet-up in England anyone? I wish I could arrange that. Thank you for the post Julie, it was fascinating!