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New details are emerging about the stunning dress that Queen Elizabeth gifted to Princess Beatrice to wear on her wedding day — a joyful moment that captivated the world during a particularly challenging time.
In a highly symbolic move reflecting the close bond between grandmother and granddaughter, Beatrice had planned to wear one of Her Majesty’s dress from the beginning; it was not a last-minute decision as some reports have speculated.
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The Queen offered Beatrice a choice from a selection of dresses— and the entire process was overseen by Angela Kelly, Her Majesty’s Personal Advisor and Curator (The Queen’s Jewellery, Insignias and Wardrobe). Royal dressmaker Stuart Parvin also played a central role in making adjustments, including the sleeves that Beatrice wished to add, fitting for a traditional church wedding.
Beatrice wed in a private ceremony last Friday at the Royal Lodge, a property located in Berkshire, England, just a few miles from Queen Elizabeth’s residence at Windsor Castle.
The gown, which the Queen gifted to Beatrice in a touching moment, was designed by Norman Hartnell, the same designer who crafted Queen Elizabeth’s own wedding dress. In addition to the new organza sleeves, the dress features diamanté embellishments adorning the geometric bodice. The vintage ivory Peau de Soie taffeta dress was worn by the Queen on multiple occasions throughout the 1960s, including at the 1962 charity premiere of “Lawrence of Arabia.”
For her bridal shoes, Beatrice opted for glistening ankle-strap pumps from Valentino, which she had worn to two other royal weddings, including Kate Middleton and Prince William’s in 2011.
In another sign of love and affection, the Queen chose to loan her granddaughter the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara, which Elizabeth herself wore on her wedding day back in 1947. The queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, also wore the tiara to walk down the aisle in 1973.
Kelly, one of the Queen’s most trusted confidantes, put the tiara on Beatrice’s head before she walked down the aisle for the elegant, stylish and socially distance ceremony. It was a fitting role for Kelly, who has been at the center of many major royal fashion moments.
In The Other Side of the Coin, The Queen, The Dresser and the Wardrobe, she takes the reader inside the workrooms of Buckingham Palace to understand the symbolic weight of designing and coordinating HM’s outfits to seamlessly enhance her wide-ranging duties. Along the way, one learns how the traditional royal dress codes have been subtlety updated and burnished to icon status.
The book, available on Amazon, also reveals, in her own words, how Angela found herself in such a unique job and the evolution of her role as one of The Queen’s most trusted advisors.
In a compelling series of short stories covering key moments over a quarter of a century, Angela details her dramatic journey from humble childhood to Palace newbie to indispensable member of the Queen’s closest staff.
“With great love and respect, Angela’s book reveals how she has honed a new kind of relationship between monarch and dresser, tapping a more modern view of fashion’s power as she cleverly guides her team to gently evolve The Queen’s well-defined style,” FN Editorial Director Michael Atmore wrote in a tribute to Angela, his close friend. “The result has been wildly successful by any measure, putting Her Majesty on a fashion stratosphere that is hers and hers alone.”