Designer Diaries – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Angela Kelly (Evening)

The title of dresser is misleading. The Queen actually dresses herself.

Angela Kelly

As most folks who read this blog – or any royal blog – know, the Queen’s long-time dresser is Angela Kelly. We explored Ms. Kelly’s evolution into her role in our first post on the Queen’s daywear. Kelly holds a unique role in the household. She is a part gatekeeper, part administrative aide, and practically full-time designer/wardrobe mistress. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the evening gowns she has designed for the Queen.

2010 Toronto

The Queen is very fond of visiting Canada. During the 2010 State Visit, Angela Kelly wanted to reflect some of the respect and warmth the Queen had received from the country in her design for the Queen’s evening gown. The maple leaf has been used in royal dress design many times. This time, the designer found a lacquered fabric for the gown, and placed a cascade of Swarovski crystal maple leaves on the shoulder and sleeve. She kept the neckline open so that the Queen would have the freedom to choose from several of her diamond necklaces.

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2011 Dublin

This visit was the first time a British monarch had visited the Republic of Ireland. Per Angela Kelly, the Queen had specific instructions for all her clothes for the tour, but in particular for this evening gown. More than 2,000 silk shamrocks were commissioned for the dress and sewn on by hand. There is one secret green shamrock hidden in the dress. The beading was done by an in-house beadier, Tina. The beadier also devised a crystal Irish harp to be worn on the Queen’s left shoulder.

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2012 Royal Variety Performance

This silver mesh lace gown was not designed for a specific event. Instead, Ms. Kelly found the fabric and played with the idea of aligning the crystal diamante into vertical or horizontal lines. Eventually, she decided there would be more interest in cutting the fabric on a bias to create a chevron pattern. She was inspired by the Queen Mother’s 1930s dresses, and the glamour of movie stars from that era. The wrap front also made the gown more comfortable for The Queen, and provided for ease of movement while walking.

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This is but a small portion of the evening wear Angela Kelly has designed for The Queen. Spam your favorites in the comments.