Queen Elizabeth’s most iconic fashion moments, from her coronation to the ‘green screen’ dress

Queen Elizabeth II knew better than most the symbolism of fashion.

One of the most photographed people in the world during her lifetime, the late Queen lived her life in the public eye.

The abdication of the Queen’s uncle and her father’s death at 56 left the monarchy in crisis, and from the beginning of her reign, the Queen used clothes to communicate a consistent message: “That she’s steadfast, she’s dependable, that there’s a continuity of the monarchy,” says Dr Emily Brayshaw, Honorary Research Fellow at UTS.

Over the years, the Queen proved adept at deploying her clothes in the interests of soft diplomacy.

In a nod to local culture, she wore green in Ireland and maple leaf motifs in Canada. When the Queen met with Scott Morrison in 2021, she wore her famous diamond and platinum wattle brooch, a coronation gift from the Australian people and a piece she wore repeatedly over the years.

“Clothes are tools for the Queen,” Peter McNeil, Distinguished Professor in Design History at UTS, told ABC RN’s Blueprint for Living.

Growing into style

“The Queen’s dressing got better as she aged,” says McNeil, largely due to the influence of Angela Kelly, who joined the palace in 1994 and eventually became the Queen’s senior dresser and a trusted confidante.

In her 2019 book, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, Kelly recounted how she updated the monarch’s style early in her tenure at the palace.

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