They say every little girl dreams of being a princess. What they don’t say is that most grown women dream of it too! I know I certainly do, and judging by the massive crowds at the Queen’s Jubilee this past week, so do thousands of others. Royal watchers, which I am proud to be one of, were beyond thrilled for 4 full days of fantastic celebrations. We got to see the whole British royal family, all in one place, in the first time in years. It was a fanfare to remember, for many reasons!
First of all, the most important reason, the celebration of the Queen’s 70th year on the throne. Queen Elizabeth was certainly thrust into her rule in a unique way. Her uncle should have been King, but abdicated the throne, only to turn the crown over to Elizabeth’s father. He ruled for a time before passing at young age, leaving an equally younger Elizabeth to fill his shoes. She vowed to serve her country and her commonwealth, and that she has done, in every sense of the word, for the last 70 years.
The Platinum Jubilee was also memorable for all the royal fashions. If I could wake up and dress like Princess Kate on a daily basis, I would be in heaven – but watching will suffice, and is pretty special too. (See some of my all time favorite Kate looks in this post.) Not only was Kate impeccably dressed as always (with many significant nods to royal history), so were Camilla, Sophie, Meghan, Eugenie and Beatrice, to name a few.
Below I’ve shared my favorite fashion moments from the main events of the Platinum Jubilee, a quick look at the smaller events, and some interesting tidbits about the royals and the celebrations events themselves.
Day 1: Trooping the Colour
This custom dates back to the 17th century, when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying force in battle, and therefore trooped in front of the soldiers daily, to make sure they could recognize their regiment. This impressive display, including parades, is now held on the occassion of the queen’s official birthday. This year it took place at the start of the Platinum Jubilee to honor the queen’s 96th birthday, as well as her 70 year reign. There was a parade, which for the first time included the Cambridge kids (George, Charlotte and Louis), music, the Royal Horse Artillery, a gun salute, all culminating in the famed balcony wave from the lady of honor, her Majesty, the Queen. That famed balcony, if you didn’t know is off the Major General’s Office at Buckingham Palace. Joining the queen this year were working senior members of the royal family. See all of them here.
Queen Elizabeth looked very chic waving to her loyal fans in a beautiful blue Charmelaine dress and coat – which also has meaning. The queen, along with her immediate heirs all wore blue. Queen Elizabeth’s dress, in St. Patrick’s blue, is a nod to the original symbolic color of Ireland which can also be representative of sovereignty. The family in blue (including Meghan and Harry) symbolized cohesiveness. The queen not only had beautiful embellished trim on her coat and hat, but she was wearing the Guards Brooch, which once belonged to the monarch’s grandmother, the late Queen Mary. It combines the badges of the five regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies—Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards—which take turns each year “trooping their colours” for the queen. This year the Irish trooped the colours. They have blue feather plumes in their hats and a 4 leaf clover on their collar.
Kate’s look for this event was classic and chic (and a rewear), which came as no surprise. She also often finds a way to pay homage to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, and this look was no different. She wore Diana’s diamond and sapphire earrings, which match Diana’s ring Kate now wears as a wedding ring. Her Alexander McQueen blazer dress and Philip Treacy hat was strikingly similar to a look Princess Diana donned in 1991. I think it’s sweet that Kate finds subtle ways to incoporate Diana into her wardrobe, which honors the power Diana had on the royal.
Day 2: Service of Thanksgiving:
While the queen took this day to rest – she is 96 afterall – we still got to see the rest of the royal family come out in honor of their monarch, for a religous ceremony to celebrate her, which was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral . The queens reign includes her role as Defender of the Faith, so religion is very important to her, and this event certainly is as well. It was another day filled with fantastic fashions. The Brit’s dress to the nines, and the royals take it to the tens (is that possible?) – the hats and fascinators alone make me swoon! This day gave us the regulars, Charles, Camilla, Will and Kate, but also brought out the extended royal family, including Harry and Meghan and they represented Her Majesty in style. (Reference this family tree if you need to know who is who.)
Day 3: Epsom Derby, Big Jubilee Lunches, Cardiff Castle
The royal family dispersed all over the Commonwealth to celebrate the festiviites leading up to the Platinum Party at the Palace. With the queen’s true love of horse breeding and racing, a derby was bound to make the list of jubilee events. The Epsom Derby was attended by the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, her granddaughter Zara Tindall and her grandson Peter Phillips. One day, my dream is to attend a derby race in the UK and don the loveliest dress and the most frivolous fascinator!
All around London, the UK and the Commonwealth, which includes the 16 countries the queen is head of state for, the platinum jubilee was celebrated with what was dubbed “big lunches” and “street parties.” Prince Charles and Camilla, along with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice attended separate celebrations in London, while Sophie Wessex, the queen’s daughter in-law made her way to Ireland.
In Wales, the Cambridge’s, minus Prince Louis, visited Cardiff Castle to get a behind the scenes look at the local celebrations for the jubilee. It was Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s first official visit to Wales. It shows that not only does the jubilee celebrate the reigning queen, but it also highlights the succession of the monarchy and its future. It’s easy to see the royals got a lot of use out of their different modes of transportation over the jubilee weekend – they seemed to be everywhere all at once!
Day 3: Evening Platinum Party at the Palace
I have to admit, tracking all of these events was quite hard as an American. Sadly nothing was really being broadcast in full here in the U.S. so I relied on a lot of onlige magazines and Instagram stalking of the royal accounts and royal followers. Finally, with the Platinum Party at the Palace, I felt included in this celebration as it was broadcast in prime-time. (Unfortnatelty, not in its entirety.) This concert allowed the royals and the attendees alike to let down their hair, loosen their pearls and ties and just have fun! It was entertaining to watch them all take in the performers. Kate bopped along and sang to some songs – but you could tell that is not the norm or comfortable for some of the others in her family. With greats like Queen, Diana Ross, Andrea Boccelli and Andrew Lloyd Webber performing, plus heartfelt speeches from Prince William and Prince Charles, it was a night to remeber. The queen herself even made a video cameo. Buckingham Palace was turned into a giant screen with incredible images of the queen (among many others) broadcast on it. Quite stunning! I have to admit though, I thought the fashion would be a little funkier and relaxed for this event, as relaxed as royals can get for a rock concert. However, it was still quite polished and professional – but I loved that the entire royal family coordinated in red, white and blue. Patriotism on full display!
Day 4: Platinum Jubilee Pageant
The final day of the platinum jubilee concluded with a beautiful pageant. The pageant (like a parade) looked at the last 7 decades and changes in socitey during the queen’s reign. Over 10,000 people worked to make this pageant happen. After incredible floats and performers throughout the pageant, the day culminated with the national anthem, followed by God Save the Queen and of course, another balcony appearance by the one and only, Queen Elizabeth. She looked radiant in a bright green ensemble (possibly a nod to her late husband, Prince Phillips favorite color). She was surounded by her immediate heirs, to really showcase what has been for the last 70 years and what’s to come in the next 70 years. Princes Charles, William, George and Louis looked regal in their dark suits, which accentuated the queen even more. Camilla and Charlotte coordinated well in white and Kate, like the queen, stood out in a bright pink dress (they both love bold colors and have never shied away from them, which you might think someone who already has all eyes on them would). Seeing the queen chat with the future king, Prince George, who is now almost eye to eye with her, was a super sweet moment! With all the pomp and circumstance, emotions were high – lots of laughs, shouts of joys and even some tears from the crowd. This jubilee was made even more jubilant by one of the youngest members of the royal family. Prince Louis sure made his mark on the weekend, and showed us all, royals are just like us in a lot of ways. The 4 year old made every face under the sun and kept us all smiling. He was happy, as we all should, in honor of this joyous and momentous weekend.
Seeing as Prince William and Prince Harry have been off the market for a while now, my odds of becoming a princess have basically dwindled away, so for now I will continue to watch in awe, enjoy the history and pomp and circusmtance of royal life and oogle over all their fashions. A platinum jubilee for a British ruler with never happen again in our lifetimes, maybe never. While the weekend is over, I am still taking it all in and reveling in the fun that was had!
If you’re not a big fan of the royals and read this post with a lot of curiosity as to who all these people supporting the queen are, see the queen’s family tree here and see the full schedule of Platiunum Jubilee events here.
Image & Information Sources: Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, The Telegraph, New York Times, People, Hello!, Daily Mail, BBC News, Vogue
Signed with Royal Style,
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