Suzy Menkes on the Queen’s unwavering style

A dog. A cozy country cardigan. A plaid skirt. A big bold diamond. Who could it be, but her late Majesty, the Queen?

In a subtle way, for seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II has defined her desire to present herself to her subjects as both “like you” and as a historical figure dating back to the dawn of time. The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, summed up the reality of being royal when she described royal jewelery as “yours and mine” when she was a young child.

Much like that enigma, the British have, over the years, borrowed a regal look by wearing fancy hats and accessories almost unknown to the rest of the modern world. As the Elizabethan years dragged on, the way people dressed for formal events barely changed – and history played a part.

Philip Treacy, who frequently supplies hats to the royal family, told me about his childhood in Ireland spent watching worshipers in church on Sundays. And how those memories transformed in her mind into glamorous elegance – as we just saw on Camilla as queen consort at the funeral. Stephen Jones is another milliner who has kept hats alive, his customers dressing with grace and delight. Plus, of course, the ability to make the story stylish. He is Meghan’s favorite hatter.

A detailed look at the Queen’s life in style


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