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Diplomacy and British Design

As Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth, careful attention is paid to ensure that The Queen’s clothes respect religious and diplomatic conventions. Certain ensembles have become subtle yet prominent tools of diplomacy, conveying complimentary messages to host nations through colour and motif. Examples on display include an ensemble worn for an audience with Pope John XXIII in 1961, a day outfit in yellow worn in Australia and dresses with beautiful embroideries representing national and regional emblems.

The Queen is the only British female monarch to wear exclusively British-designed clothes and this has become a hallmark of Her Majesty’s wardrobe. Having patronised some of the foremost names in British couture, such as Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies, The Queen has continued in her steadfast support of the British fashion industry with designers such as Angela Kelly and Stewart Parvin.

Ian Thomas (1929-93)

Evening Gown

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening gown

Sir Norman Hartnell

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Gown

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Dress

Ian Thomas (1929-93)

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Gown

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Gown

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Day ensemble/Headress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Day Ensemble

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Evening Dress

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Evening gown

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Dress

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Evening Dress

Angela Kelly

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Dress

Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Day Ensemble

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Dress

Sir Norman Hartnell (1901-79)

Evening Dress

Angela Kelly

Evening Dress