Queen’s fashion secrets revealed

Top-secret dresses for meetings with James Bond, no hats after 6pm, and gowns featuring 2,000 silk shamrocks are just some of the Queen’s wardrobe wonders revealed in a new book.

Written by Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant, adviser, and curator, Dressing The Queen opens the door to the dressers’ floor at Buckingham Palace and gives a first-hand account of working on the Queen’s outfits in her diamond jubilee year.

The crystal and lace peach cocktail dress the Queen wore to the Olympics opening ceremony was made twice under top-secret conditions.

After months of planning with the curtain raiser’s director, Danny Boyle, Kelly and her team made two identical dresses to give the illusion that it was actually the Queen, and not a stunt double, parachuting from a helicopter above the Olympic stadium alongside 007.

The Palace dressmakers worked for months on the dress, never knowing why two were required.

The book also revealed that the Queen rarely wears a hat after 6pm. Kelly wrote: “After 6pm the Queen does not usually wear a hat but may wear a headpiece,” Kelly wrote.

The book also revealed that the Queen chose to wear a predominantly green dress on her visit to Ireland last year.

Kelly wrote: “As a sign of respect for Ireland and her long-held affection for the country, the Queen chose to wear a day outfit that was predominantly green in colour.”

For the evening gown she wore to the State banquet on May 18 2011, the Queen was very specific in her guidance, according to Kelly.

Her gown featured more than 2,000 silk shamrocks sewn on by hand and an Irish harp design, made of crystals, replaced the Royal Family Order normally worn on the Queen’s left shoulder during state occasions.

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