Queen Elizabeth

Ever wondered what really happens to Queen Elizabeth’s old clothes?

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth is almost perfectly dressed in all the public events because she is in the public eye all the time.


Her clothes are a source of much attention. So, what happens to her outfits when Queen Elizabeth discards them?



Queen Elizabeth is well known for her distinctive style in her old age. She often chooses bold colours when she steps out. She appears to have a never-ending array of coats, hats and dresses. All of which are much discussed when she makes a public appearance. Just like anybody, the Queen does eventually get tired of certain items in her wardrobe.

A royal expert has now revealed what really happens to these discarded outfits. Author Brian Hoey wrote in his 2011 book, Not in Front of the Corgis: “Queen Elizabeth’s clothes are a constant source of comment in the media. So, when she finally gets tired of it, she will hand it to one of her dressers. They can either wear it or sell it”.

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Will everyone ever know if the item once belonged to Queen Elizabeth? Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to the author: “There is one provision. All labels must be removed and anything that could possibly identify it as having come from royalty obliterated”.

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Many of the Queen’s clothes are designed and made at the palace by Angela Kelly and her team: Kelly was taken on as a dresser in 1993 after working as a housekeeper for a British diplomat.



She sketches at least four different designs for a particular piece of fabric. From those, Her Majesty can choose. After initial discussions, she produces a technical drawing from which the pattern is cut. Everything is cut and shaped to match a mannequin made of Queen Elizabeth’s size.

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Those are the details which have always been kept top secret. A prototype is then made from rough cotton allowing the design to be tweaked before the final fabric is cut. Fitting sessions typically last half a day. Four or five outfits are fitted at each session to make the best use of time.

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