The Queen’s morning outfit during the first day of her Diamond Jubilee visit to Northern Ireland was a bit of a dazzler — but a subtle dazzler, you understand.
She appeared in St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen, for the first part of her cross-community ecclesiastical work as a kind of Wedgwood vision in pale blue with quite a bit of white embroidery.
It’s not surprising she didn’t wear green in this part of the world, as she memorably did when visiting Dublin, or indeed any kind of red or orange, the other politically sensitive part of the spectrum, but what she did do, as always was stand out in a good way.
The designer behind the Queen’s outfit is one Angela Kelly (inset), formerly a relatively junior member of the Royal Household but now grandly titled Personal Assistant, Adviser and Curator to Her Majesty the Queen (Jewellery, Insignias and Wardrobe).
Miss Kelly is entirely responsible for the Queen’s look and became her dresser in 1993 after meeting the monarch when she worked for the British Ambassador in Germany. She was promoted, partly because as an Irish-Liverpudlian, she didn’t hesitate to express her opinion.
In other words, the two women got on. And as Queen Elizabeth’s chief designer, Angela Kelly seems to understand what works on the petite 86-year-old as well as the symbolism behind all royal outfits. She devised the Queen’s stunning white outfit, embellished with sparkly Swarovski (to reflect the in-theory sparkling water of the Thames) worn during the rather damp river pageant.
Blue was a good choice yesterday, partly because Queen Elizabeth II has piercing blue eyes, but also because it evokes a kind of seagoing, elegant imagery.
Her look was ‘Queeny’, as one young male colleague said. In other words, not uber-fashionable, flattering, visible, and expensive looking. The Queen was wearing pearls, possibly her everyday necklace given to her by Queen Mary plus a shamrock diamond brooch (for obvious reasons).
The Queen’s footwear — presumed to be by Rayne Shoes, but the Palace Press office couldn’t confirm — was the usual black court, with a wide heel, to facilitate long periods on the royal feet.