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Queen Elizabeth II certainly has her own signature style.
But while the monarch — who’s celebrating her 96th birthday on Thursday, April 21 — may be synonymous with her standard uniform of pastel skirt suits and top hats today, her wardrobe has evolved quite a bit over the years.
With a reign spanning seven decades, it’s no surprise the Queen has experimented with plenty of unexpected looks in her day; who can forget her turban phase during the 1970s?
From the story behind her signature clear umbrellas to the reason she rarely switches up her shoes, read on for some fashion facts about the royal that even the most aristocracy-obsessed fans might not know.
If you’ve ever seen a photo of the Queen on a rainy day, you’ve probably noticed one of her clear bubble umbrellas.
They’re made by Fulton, a British brand that was first noticed by the Queen Mother because she liked that its clear birdcage umbrellas allowed her to be seen when out in public while also staying protected from the weather.
Today, the Queen owns about 100 of the umbrellas in every color of the rainbow and her dresser, Angela Kelly, works with Fulton to have them custom-made to coordinate with her outfits.
You can buy your own for a mere $30.
Off-the-rack shoes aren’t fit for a queen; Her Majesty gets hers from heritage brand Anello & Davide, and has an entire team of people who make each pair to her measurements.
You’ll often see her in the same black style with a buckle at the front and a low 2.25-inch heel — and her dresser even breaks in fresh pairs for her boss.
“As has been reported a lot in the press, a flunky wears in Her Majesty’s shoes to ensure that they are comfortable and that she is always good to go,” Kelly wrote in her book, “The Other Side of the Coin,” adding, “and yes, I am that flunky.”
Queen Elizabeth II once said, “I have to be seen to be believed,” which is why you’ll see her wearing bright, solid-colored coats and matching hats at events; she can easily be spotted in a crowd, even for people standing far away.
Wearing a hat in a coordinating color is an extra way for her to be clearly visible, and she’s a master at matching her floral or feather-trimmed headpieces to her colorful coats.
At the 2016 Trooping the Colour parade, the Queen wore a neon green look so bright, it sparked memes.
Much like Sophia Petrillo from “The Golden Girls,” the Queen is rarely seen without her trusty purse.
Her Majesty favors the aptly named “Royale” ($3,205), the “Turandot” ($3,215) and the “Traviata” ($2,830) from luxury handbag brand Launer, which has carried a royal warrant since 1968.
Bethan Holt, author of “The Queen: 70 years Of Majestic Style,” told PA Media the bags “have an extra-long 16-inch strap so they hang comfortably from her arm, they are lined in silk rather than suede, and over the past eight or nine years, they have been modified to be as light as possible for Her Majesty to carry.”
While Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle often wear trousers or even jeans at public events, you’d be hard-pressed to see the Queen in anything but a dress or skirt.
Her Majesty has been photographed wearing pants in public fewer than 10 times in the last 70 years, but that doesn’t mean she never wears them at home.
“While seeing her wear them in public might have caused a furore, they’re a central part of her private wardrobe,” Holt said.
A silk scarf is Queen Elizabeth’s version of a casual hat, and she frequently wears one at more laid-back occasions like the Royal Windsor Horse Show, or while riding horses and driving her beloved Land Rover while off-duty.
While the monarch favors Hermès for her headwear, she’s also worn Launer scarves — and although the Queen often rocks an equestrian or floral print, she’s even sported a fun dog-print scarf.
She’s so dedicated to the look that Hermès launched a special style in honor of the Queen for her 90th birthday in 2016.
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