Belfast Telegraph

The understated styles of Camilla, effortlessly elegant

By Helen Carson

Elegant, stylish and every possible hue of green sums up the Duchess of Cornwall's ensemble for a historic trip to Ireland that has evoked memories of tragic loss for her husband Prince Charles.

For me, Camilla's wardrobe choices were a perfect balance, reflecting the appropriate level of ceremonial grandeur expected from royalty, such as the peacock green tailored suit worn to Galway to a longline coat in the most muted shade of light green, broken up only by a neck scarf in a flourish of pink and cream, to mark a sombre visit to Mullaghmore.

Camilla has always had the knack of blending into the background when she is around her husband, complementing him in a quiet way rather than distracting the world's media with an unfortunate choice of colour or style.

While her look is nearly always demure and ultra-conservative, there is a great deal of effort which goes into prepping the 67-year-old duchess for any public appearance - the perfectly coiffed hair and subtle make-up are all part of Camilla's appearance which should look effortless and age appropriate.

That careful attention to detail has been evident with this particular Royal tour which was carried out amid tight security and a mass of Press photographers.

Camilla chose to wear coats on a number of occasions. Beautifully tailored with soft feminine details, such as a panel of tiny pleats to the hem, collarless and with button details to the cuff striking the right balance between formal and relaxed.

Detailing such as small gold or covered buttons were worn with aplomb, all the while retaining Camilla's love of classic clothing for which her favourite designers including Bruce Oldfield and Robinson Valentine have made their stock-in-trade.

Camilla and Charles' love of country pursuits could be seen when the pair chose tweed for one of their outings. A light green collarless tweed jacket with buttoned-back lapels for her, while he donned a darker overcoat in classic tweed.

For her third day, Camilla stepped out of the royal car in a pale eggshell blue coat with inlaid silk panels in a pale grey blueish shade and low-heeled tan courts. She has been seen often shod in natural or nude-coloured heels during her stay, while her jewellery has been no more than a number of small silver brooches - one in a Celtic circle style, and another an enamelled green shamrock design.

Camilla's finishing touches are not loud, but just enough to finesse a regal outfit without parodying anyone of the many visitors she has met during this significant visit.

The duchess, who has been embroiled in so much royal controversy over the decades, has not only fulfilled any stately duties during the course of the past few days, but she has also given Prince Charles exactly the right amount of support at a hugely sensitive and historically critical time.

For a woman once lambasted for her unkempt appearance and lack of fashion nous, Camilla has got it just right when it mattered most.

Belfast Telegraph


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