Queen Elizabeth II, who marked her 86th birthday on Saturday, will provide her subjects with yet another reason to rejoice when she commemorates her Diamond Jubilee in June.
In 60 years of dressing for the public eye, the Queen has never put a sensibly shod foot wrong. Between the pastels, kitten heels, structured handbags and coordinating hats, she has developed a dress sense as impressive in its consistency as its tastefulness.
The reliability of the Queen’s personal style is one of the reasons she cuts such an indelible figure in the public imagination.
‘The Queen is the most portrayed individual in history,’ said Paul Moorhouse, curator of the forthcoming National Portrait Gallery exhibition The Queen: Art and Image, opening on 17 May. ‘Partly it is because she is two beings: the famous public figure and the private, enigmatic individual.... She remains important because in an uncertain world with constantly changing values, she represents a reassuring link with the sense of stability represented by tradition.’
Though she has legions of dressers and designers at her disposal, the main thing these tastemakers say about Elizabeth is that she knows what she wants, through six decades on the throne and several outfit changes per day. And don’t we love her for it.