The Queen of England, her Majesty Elizabeth II has been celebrating her birthday all weekend and the whole country too.
London has been in full patriotic swing, despite the intermittent storms.
I declare my hand up front; I am a huge fan of the Queen and always have been.
Perhaps it is because I am Australian and in my growing up days we were taught to respect the reign but I think it is so much more than an historical habit.
Her Majesty, Elizabeth II turned 90 in April and if there is ever an inspiration for older women it is she.
Yes, she has grown up in a life of privilege and extreme wealth but she has shouldered the responsibility of a nation as the longest running monarch since Queen Victoria. The responsibilities of family (they have had their moments), of state and of nation cannot be considered small by any means. I wonder whether apart from good genes, this is what keeps her young?
What about her unique sense of fashion? She has her own original style, hasn’t deviated from it and wears her colourful coats and accessories with enormous confidence. This weekend she radiated in a fluoro green; I don’t know many 90 year olds wearing the bright with such aplomb.
Let me stop here for one moment and say what I don’t normally say.
It’s never because I don’t think or feel about world events; it is simply because this is a place for us to escape and to enjoy the small side of life and indulge in our feminine side.
Enough is enough.
This weekend when the news came in about Orlando I was deeply horrified and saddened by such senseless violence but nowadays our world is so full of horrendous acts that it would be untrue to say I was shocked. What does that mean? One after the other useless and more senseless acts changes our landscape; our world is becoming unfamiliar and frightening. I am scared we are getting used to it, that violence and horror will become familiar and we will take it as a given.
I took extra comfort yesterday as I watched the Queen and her family travel the streets of London in open cars and with obvious security, yet fully exposed. They waved to the crowds, old style. I banished the worry and fear from my mind, the quiet expectation that something could go very wrong and admired their tenacity and faith on such a celebratory weekend. The show went on and will always.
It is Britain, after all.
Sometimes “old school”, where life feels as if it has stood still for centuries, is the world I long to stay in. Sometimes change is nothing but regression.
What she wears?
Queen Elizabeth’s fashion is not mine but I love it.
Her passion for colour is refreshing as is her sense of enjoyment when she wears every shade of the rainbow. I like to see her quirky hats, her dolly handbags (I could work with those) and matching shoes. She gets it right because what she wears is purely her style and she radiates with it.
If anyone is a style icon Elizabeth II surely is. Vanity Fair thinks so; beautifully shot by Annie Leibovitz, she graces their cover. All in blue with her beloved pups she looks sensational and she is wearing horse bit loafers a la Gucci. No doubt they are the same style she has worn forever; it is us who are catching up.
Living in London you would imagine I have the chance to catch many glimpses of the royal family. No, not me; somehow I always miss the sightings. Friends come and go for brief visits and tell me who they “saw”, me, hardly ever.
Except, I did see the Queen and close up.
The best celebrity sighting I ever made. She was every bit as beautiful in reality as her photographs. Petite and poised are the words that come to mind, along with the thought whatever she is using on her skin, so should we. Porcelain is the word for that.
Elizabeth II, what an inspiration. xv
To celebrate her 90 years the Queen’s wardrobe will be on display this summer.
‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from the Queen’s Wardrobe’ will be at Buckingham Palace from 23 July to 2 October.
images chris jackson for getty images, illustration norman hartnell