To celebrate The Queen’s birthday, the largest exhibition of Her Majesty The Queen’s wardrobe ever shown in Scotland is now on display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh – Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe.
This is one of three separate special exhibitions entitled to be held at Her Majesty’s official residences during 2016, each displaying a different selection of outfits. The display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse includes evening and day wear by the British couturiers Sir Norman Hartnell, Ian Thomas and Stewart Parvin, who trained at Edinburgh College of Art, and the milliner Philip Somerville.
A magnificent Hartnell evening gown of pale-blue silk faille
In 1962, on the State Visit to Scotland of King Olav of Norway, The Queen wore a magnificent Hartnell evening gown of pale-blue silk faille for a gala performance of Rob Roy at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. For the Commonwealth Heads of Government reception held at the Palace in 1997, Her Majesty wore a silk evening dress designed by John Anderson. The entire gown is covered with white, pink, gold and cream beads and sequins, embroidered on to the surface of the garment with gold thread.
A pink silk dress and white jacquard coat by Stewart Parvin
In late June or early July, The Queen stays at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and undertakes a series of engagements that celebrate Scottish culture, history and achievement, including a garden party at the Palace for around 8,000 guests. The exhibition includes a pink silk dress and white jacquard coat by Stewart Parvin, with a hat by Philip Somerville, worn by The Queen for the garden party in 2009.
The exhibition at the Palace of Holyroodhouse is followed by exhibitions at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace from 23 July 2016 and at Windsor Castle from 17 September 2016. In total, over 150 outfits worn by The Queen will be presented across the three Palaces, many chosen because of their close association with the location.
Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe is at the Palace of Holyroodhouse from 21 April – 16 October 2016. For tickets and informtion, click here.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the press preivew of Fashioning A Reign – and the outfits are utterly fabulous!
From a chic tartan and tweed combination to a showstopping red velvet gown, these are outfits which truly deserve their royal standing. However, perhaps the best thing about this exhibition is how close you are to The Queen’s dresses. You can see every stitch of the intricate embroidery, admire the perfectly cut panels in the dresses, study the patterns made by the hand-sewn sequins – and dream of wearing dresses fit for a queen.
Well worth a visit!