Members of the royal family gave a masterclass in mourning dress over the last 10 days by rewearing pieces and adapting old favourites to ensure the focus remained off their outfits during the period, a stylist has revealed.
Since the Queen’s death in Balmoral earlier this month, senior royals including The Princess of Wales, Duchess of Sussex and Countess of Wessex have made a number of high profile appearances – not least at the Queen’s funeral yesterday.
And members of the Firm have been ensuring the focus has remained on the significant, historic occasion by recycling outfits, opting for older pieces in different colours and tweaking old favourites to make them appropriate for the mourning period.
Each member often only wore simple black dresses with very little detailing and a modest cut, with a mid-length skirt and longer sleeves. Royals would often pair the outfits with sheer tights and heels or flat shoes.
Where royals did wear newer pieces, the outfits tended to be incredibly plain – ensuring the focus remained on the monarch and her life.
Stylist Miranda Holder told FEMAIL the royal wives of Windsor had dressed with ‘grace and style’, adding: ‘Thanks to their rigorous Royal upbringing, they fully understand that at this sad time, upstaging the late Sovereign with their fashion choices is a strict etiquette no-no.
‘Hemlines and necklines, which are routinely checked to ensure they are demure enough for royal duties have been even more modest, and sombre black has been the colour of the day, allowing a little room to play with shape and silhouette.
‘These important outfits will have been meticulously planned months in advance, and the wardrobes are actually curated in collections rather than designed for a single moment in time.
‘It’s been a monochromatic slideshow of outfits, each carefully designed to perfectly reflect the mood of the occasion, while complementing the rest.’
Members of the royal family gave a masterclass in mourning dress over the last 10 days by rewearing pieces and adapting old favourites to ensure the focus remained off their outfits during the period, a stylist has revealed (pictured, left, Kate Middleton rewearing a Catherine Walker coat which has been amended for the mourning period; right, the Duchess of Sussex wore a dress by designer Stella McCartney. She had previously worn the silhouette in 2018)
Meanwhile the Countess of Wessex wore a dress which had been specifically designed in tribute to the Queen, and embroidered with her favourite flower, Lily of the Valleys
The Princess of Wales repeated a number of outfits from previous years during the mourning period, including a black Catherine Walker dress which she first wore for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year (left, and right earlier this week)
The stylist revealed how the Princess of Wales’ outfits have progressed over the last week, saying: ‘With that in mind, it is interesting to note the evolution of Princess Kate’s wardrobe as the last few days have progressed.
‘We initially witnessed her at the Windsor walkabout looking her most soft, vulnerable and feminine, from her loose tumbling curls to her delicate jewellery, round neckline and fluid drapey fabric of her dress, then gradually her style has become more formal, tailored, stiffer even, reflecting the increasing gravitas of the various ceremonies, culminating in the funeral yesterday.
‘It’s almost as if Kate’s wardrobe has reflected, and possibly even enhanced, the inner grit and steel she has been required to possess in order to transcend what has arguably been the most important week in her Royal career to date.’
Miranda continued: ‘The fact that Princess Beatrice, Meghan and Kate all chose to rewear old favourites to the funeral was of course no accident.
‘Firstly, there is comfort for all in the familiarity of recycled looks and secondly it was a tactical move to deflect the focus of watchful fashionistas, keenly anticipating the style choices of the day.’
‘Kate looked regal and statuesque in her tailored coat dress, a black replica of the Alexander McQueen version she wore to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations – which was in itself a subtle tribute to her Majesty, as was her stunning four strand pearl necklace which was on loan from the Queen and had been previously worn to Prince Phillip’s funeral.’
Among the royals who looked to repeat older outfits was Princess Beatrice, who wore the same black military style coat to watch her father Prince Andrew stand vigil over the Queen’s coffin (right) as she did to Prince Philip’s funeral last year (left)
Meanwhile Meghan Markle, who is known for her love of expensive pieces and designers, opted to rewear a black Givenchy coat for the Queen’s funeral procession on Wednesday (left, wearing the piece for the first time in 2019, and right, last week)
The stylist continued: ‘It’s also key that Princess Kate was the only woman in anything resembling a mourning veil, a nod to the tradition made popular by Queen Victoria which now feels very outdated. The fact that Kate incorporated this into her outfit only assists her subtle positioning of our future Queen.
‘By contrast, Meghan channelled ‘old school’ Audrey Hepburn-esq glamour in a caped Stella McCartney dress reminiscent of a navy piece she had worn to her Majesty’s 92nd Birthday years before… but to me her ensemble with her extra wide brimmed hat and long gloves felt more like armour, shielding a very vulnerable Meghan from the critical eye of the outside world.
‘The irony of the cape, also worn by superheroes was not lost here either.’
Several members of the royal family opted to repeat outfits which they had previously worn during the period of mourning, including Kate, who donned a coat dress she had first worn when grieving her husband’s grandfather, Prince Philip.
At the Duke of Edinburgh’s socially distanced funeral in April 2021, the Duchess sported a chic black Catherine Walker coat dress and was the picture of grace as she paired the look with The Queen’s jewels.
The royal mother-of-three chose to repeat the coat dress when she held an audience at Buckingham Palace with the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
Princess Beatrice also donned a coat dress which she had worn for her grandfather’s funeral during the mourning period.
The Duke of York’s daughter chose to recycle a black military style jacket as she watched Prince Andrew standing vigil alongside his siblings last week.
She had first worn the dress at Prince Philip’s funeral service during the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2021.
Meanwhile Meghan opted for the same method, repeating a black Givenchy coat she had first worn while a working member of the royal family and pregnant with her son Archie in January 2019.
She wore the same coat as she attended the Queen’s funeral procession last week.
Elsewhere, a number of royals opted to wear black versions of dresses they already had within their wardrobes, including Kate, Meghan and Beatrice.
As well as repeating her outfits during the period of mourning, the Princess of Wales also looked to wear silohuettes which she already had in her wardrobe (pictured, wearing the same Jenny Packham dress in two different colours; left, in 2019, and right, during the Windsor walkabout)
Meanwhile for the Queen’s State Funeral, the Duchess also opted to wear a black version of a coat dress she had worn earlier this year for the Jubilee (left, in white, and right, earlier this week)
For the walkabout in Sandringham with Prince William, Kate opted to wear the black version of a Catherine Walker coat (right) she first wore during the Covid-19 pandemic (left)
And it wasn’t just Kate! Meghan also repeated silhouettes she already had in her wardrobe, wearing a black Stella McCartney cape dress which she first wore in 2018 in navy (left) for the Queen’s funeral (right)
Meanwhile Princess Beatrice opted to wear a black Self Portrait dress to stand vigil over her grandmother’s coffin this week (right). The Duke of York’s daughter owns the same dress in white (left) and wore it earlier this year for an event
Kate and Meghan made their first public appearance after the Queen’s death in Windsor last Saturday, and the Duchess of Sussex opted for a long black sheath dress for the occasion, which she paired with matching heels and a pair of black tights.
However Kate opted to choose a dress which was near identical to another gown she has from designer Jenny Packham. The Duchess had worn the dress, which was bright blue, during a visit to Ballymena in 2019.
It wasn’t the only time that the Princess of Wales wore a dress she already owns in a different colour during the mourning period.
She opted for a similar outfit choice as she joined Prince William for a walkabout at Sandringham, wearing a black coat which appeared to be identical to the navy Catherine Walker long wool coat the Duchess first worn in May 2021.
And she donned a black double-breasted Alexander McQueen coat dress to the Queen’s State Funeral on Monday.
Royals did wear newer pieces at several of the occasions throughout the week, including Kate wearing a dress by another favourite – Emilia Wickstead (left). Meanwhile Meghan also opted to wear a new, previously unseen dress, as she took part in a walkabout in Windsor last week (right)
Princess Beatrice and Eugenie regularly opted to wear military style pieces, pairing black blazers with dark dresses for the engagements (pictured, at the state funeral)
Meanwhile Zara Tindall also adopted a similar strategy when dressing for royal engagements, pairing plain black dresses with smart heels (pictured at Westminster Hall)
She had previously worn the same silhouette in cream to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
And Kate wasn’t the only person who opted to rewear a silhouette she already had in her wardrobe for the funeral.
Meghan opted for a black cape dress by designer Stella McCartney for the Queen’s State Funeral on Monday.
She had previously worn a navy version of the gown for Queen Elizabeth’s birthday celebrations in 2018, as well as the Invictus Games Openly Ceremony in October of that year.
Meanwhile Princess Beatrice also wore a black dress from trendy brand Self Portrait to stand vigil over her grandmother’s coffin in Westminster Hall earlier this week.
The Duke of York’s daughter also owns the white version of the same gown, and wore the piece for the 2022 Annual Summit dinner at Mansion House in central London last month.
Known for her thriftiness and love of rewearing outfits, Kate also tweaked a coat she had previously worn to make the garment more appropriate for the sombre occasion.
As she visited an Army Training Centre Pirbright on Friday to meet with troops from the Commonwealth, Kate wore a black military style coat dress by designer Catherine Walker which she had first worn for Remembrance Sunday service in 2020.
Many members of the royal family opted to wear black long sleeve dresses with a modest cut as they took part in mourning events over the last two weeks
However there were occasions when the royals did appear to wear new pieces – however, they opted for simple dresses, from designers whom they already knew and loved.
Kate was photographed wearing a modified Alexander McQueen dress during a walkabout at Sandringham last week.
The royal mother-of-three has a close affiliation with Alexander McQueen having worn the British fashion house’s designs on notable occasions, most famously to her wedding in 2011.
Meanwhile, as the Queen’s coffin was transported on a Gun Carriage of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, the Princess of Wales opted for a smart Catherine Walker coat.
The designer is another one of her favourites, and has become a classic brand for the Duchess to wear.
Attending the Buckingham Palace reception on Sunday night, Kate opted for a dress by another royal favourite – Emilia Wickstead.
Kate has long been a fan of Emilia Wickstead dresses, and regularly wears the designer for significant occasions.
Elsewhere, Sophie ensured the focus remained on the Queen by opting for an outfit which paid subtle tribute to the monarch’s favourite flower, Lily of the Valleys, for her funeral on Monday.
The coat dress was by much beloved royal designer Suzannah, who posted: ‘An absolute honour and privilege to be given this opportunity to be a small part of modern history yesterday.
‘Thank you to our dedicated team and all at Suzannah to enable the making of this beautiful coat dress design for HRH Countess of Wessex.
‘Many beautiful panels of Italian wool and silk satin were embroidered as a tribute with Lily of the Valley – Her Majesty’s favourite flowers, intertwined with florals from her wedding bouquet.’
The funeral jewellery that paid tribute to the Queen – from Charlotte’s horseshoe pin to Sarah Ferguson’s swallow brooch in a symbol for ‘safe passage’
Royal family members yesterday paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II with their accessories when attending Her Majesty’s funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen, who died at Balmoral aged 96 on September 8, was rarely seen without her pearl earrings throughout her 70-year reign and was known for her elaborate collection of brooches.
In her honour, family members donned thoughtful jewellery and accessories as a mark of respect at the monarch’s funeral.
From Sarah Ferguson’s diamond swallow brooch with subtle undertones to Meghan’s pearl earrings that were a gift from the Queen, the royal family have used their accessories to express their love and respect.
The Queen Consort wore a brooch to mark the Queen’s long reign, whilst Lady Louise Windsor chose a horse pendant to express a shared passion.
SWALLOW BROOCH IS A SYMBOL OF SAFETY
Sarah Ferguson (pictured) was among many royals who paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at her state funeral, through their accessories
Fergie donned a diamond swallow brooch to attend the state funeral at Westminster Abbey. She pinned it against her peter pan collared jacket
Fergie is pictured here with her two sons-in-law Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank. It has been speculated that she opted for the swallow diamond brooch as a mark of respect for her former mother-in-law
The Duchess of York, 62, elevated her outfit with a pair of diamond earrings and pinned a diamond-encrusted swallow brooch to the lapel of her coat.
HELLO! reported that Elmwood’s jewellers recognise swallows as a poignant motif in Victorian jewellery, deemed a symbol of safety as legend dictates swallows meant land was nearby, helping sailors navigate their way home.
Due to the face that swallow brooches were given to loved ones when they embarked on a journey to keep them safe until they returned home, Fergie may have chosen this motif as a mark of respect for her former mother-in-law.
HORSESHOE FOR GAN-GAN
The daughter of the newly appointed Prince and Princess of Wales pinned a diamond brooch in the shape of a horse shoe to her black mourning clothes
Pictured here with her brother Prince George, Princess Charlotte’s horseshoe brooch was a nod towards the Queen’s love of horses
Princess Charlotte also paid a subtle tribute to her great-grandmother at Her Majesty’s state funeral.
The seven-year-old daughter of the newly appointed Prince and Princess of Wales, pinned a diamond brooch in the shape of horseshoe to her black mourning clothes.
The brooch was a dainty nod to the Queen’s love of horses, who had her first riding at the age of three and was gifted a Shetland pony when she was just four-years-old.
This was the young Princess’s first-ever piece of poignant jewellery.
PEOPLE revealed that the sentimental brooch was gifted to the young princess by Queen Elizabeth II.
It is a love shared by her great-granddaughter; Kate was quoted in 2018 as saying that her only daughter had inherited the Queen’s passion for horses.
PRINCESS OF WALES
QUEEN’S PEARL NECKLACE AND EARRINGS
The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, wore two pieces of jewellery once belonged to the late monarch, her husband’s grandmother
The Princess, 40, wore a four-strand pearl choker with a centre diamond clasp, which the Queen previously wore for a state banquet in Bangladesh in 1983
Princess Kate wore a pair of Bahrain pearl drop earrings that were a gift to the Queen for her wedding in 1947
Kate Middleton, 40, also honored Queen Elizabeth II at the state funeral by donning two pieces that once belonged to the late monarch, her husband’s grandmother.
The Princess of Wales arrived at Westminster Abbey wearing a pair of Bahrain pearl drop earrings and a four-strand pearl choker with a centre diamond clasp.
Both of these items were from the Queen’s personal collection and the Queen previously wore the choker for a state banquet in Bangladesh in 1983 and the Bahrain earrings were a gift to the Queen for her wedding in 1947.
The pearls of the choker were reportedly a gift from the Japanese government, possibly acquired during the 1970s, when she made a state visit to that nation.
The necklace was constructed by Garrard.
Princess Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey in the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings and four-strand pearl choker with center diamond clasp, both from the Queen’s personal collection.
Kate previously wore the pieces for the funeral of the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2021 and was spotted in the earring during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June this year.
In November 1982, the Queen famously loaned this choker to her new daughter-in-law, Diana, the Princess of Wales, to wear during a state visit from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
The Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings were part of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal collection.
They feature round diamond studs, with baguette-cut diamonds in an arrangement typical of the late 1940s, as well as pearls at the drop.
QUEEN VICTORIA’S DIAMOND BROOCH
Camilla, Queen Consort, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Sophie, Countess of Wessex during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen Consort, Camilla, who is often seen wearing pearls in public opted for a diamond brooch on the day of the Queen’s funeral, which once belonged to Queen Victoria
Camilla, 75, with her husband King Charles III. Her diamond brooch was gifted to Queen Victoria to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee
Camilla’s unique brooch was worn by Her Majesty herself during the Diamond Jubilee. The heart-shaped pin features the number 60 in Slavonic numerals wrought in diamonds, surrounded by a cabochon sapphire at the top and two large sapphire drops at the bottom
The Queen Consort, Camilla, who is often seen wearing pearls in public opted for a diamond brooch on the day of the Queen’s funeral, which once belonged to Queen Victoria.
The unique brooch was worn by Her Majesty herself during the Diamond Jubilee.
The heart-shaped pin features the number 60 in Slavonic numerals wrought in diamonds, surrounded by a cabochon sapphire at the top and two large sapphire drops at the bottom.
The brooch was gifted to Queen Victoria by her grandchildren. And Camilla may have worn it to mark the fact that Queen Elizabeth II was the longest serving monarch.
In October 1897, the Glasgow Herald reported that Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee gifts had been placed on display at the Imperial Institute in London. The brooch was among the numerous gifts displayed.
The Queen’s eldest granddaughter Zara Tindall (pictured) also paid tribute to her late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at her state funeral, opting for a pair of pearl earrings
The daughter of Princess Anne wore a smart black outfit, which she paired with a black pillbox hat and a pair of pearl earrings, an accessory the Queen was rarely seen without
Zara and her husband Mike Tindall leaving Westminster Abbey after the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s eldest granddaughter Zara Tindall also paid tribute to her late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at her state funeral.
Princess Anne’s daughter wore a smart black outfit, which she paired with a black pillbox hat and a pair of pearl earrings.
The Queen was rarely pictured without her beloved pearls during her 70-year reign.
Wearing pearls has become a royal family mourning tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria.
DUCHESS OF SUSSEX
PEARL AND DIAMOND EARRINGS FROM THE QUEEN
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, (pictured) also opted for pearl earrings at the Queen’s funeral as a mark of respect
Wearing pearls has become a royal family mourning tradition that dates back to Queen Victoria
Meghan Markle notably wore the pearl and diamond drop earrings that the Queen gave her during their first engagement together in 2018.
A smaller version of the Queen Mary’s Button Earrings the royal wore nearly almost every day, the pair reportedly came straight from Her Majesty’s personal jewelry collection.
The Duchess of Sussex also wore the special set on Wednesday, as the Queen’s casket was transported from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.
Meghan’s choice of pearl earrings are significant as the royals’ tradition of wearing pearls dates back to Queen Victoria.
LADY LOUISE WINDSOR
HORSE NECKLACE FOR ‘GRANNY’
Lady Louise Windsor, (pictured) who is the eldest child of the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, wore a simple silver necklace with a horse pendant to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
Lady Louise Windsor pictured here leaving the state funeral with her brother James, Viscount Severn. Her horse pendant was a nod to the Queen’s love of horses
Younger members of the royal family also paid tribute to the late monarch through their sartorial choices.
Lady Louise Windsor, who is the eldest child of the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, wore a simple silver necklace with a horse pendant to the funeral.
Like Charlotte, Lady Louise’s choice is believed to symbolise a shared love of horses with the Queen.
Louise paired the necklace with a traditional all-black outfit, along with a padded headband complete with a bow.
Lady Louise was thought to be one of the favourite grandchildren of the late Queen, and shared an enjoyment of carriage driving with Prince Philip.