This Is Why the Queen Dresses in Bright Colors

The Queen sometimes picks out her outfits a year in advance, according to one designer.

Queen Elizabeth II in bright colored outfits
Photo: Getty Images [edited]

Queen Elizabeth knows exactly what it takes to be the center of attention at all times: a supremely bright outfit.

According to an interview with Her Majesty's daughter-in-law Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, the Queen's deep and unabating lifelong obsession with brightly colored clothing (always paired with a matching hat) isn't just because she loves the look, but rather because she knows it's key to always stand out for her fans.

"She needs to stand out for people to be able to say 'I saw the Queen,'" Sophie revealed as part of the Smithsonian Channel documentary "The Queen at 90." "Don't forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the Queen's hat as she went past."

And really, this choice of bright clothing comes down to a wardrobe theory beloved by most women in leadership roles: confidence dressing, which can help you command a room, a palace, or in the Queen's case, an entire nation, with the simple choice to rock an outfit that makes you look unique.

"The queen has always been aware that she needs to stand out from the crowd, and it is for this reason that millinery has always played an important role in her wardrobe," Caroline de Guitaut, the curator at the Royal Collection Trust, told The New York Times.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19 was no exception — while Kate Middleton wore understated cream, the Queen made a stand-out statement in bright green.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images

And truly, nothing the Queen puts on happens by accident. According to couture designer Karl-Ludwig Rehse, who started creating outfits for the Queen in 1988, her outfits are planned weeks, possibly months in advance.

"It's not the case that the queen is going somewhere next week and thinks, 'What am I going to wear?' Sometimes it is six months, 12 months or longer," he told CNN.

Moreover, the Queen doesn't simply leave her outfits up to designers or staff. According to Rehse, she's quite hands on with her fashion choices.

"I do get a lot of input from the queen," Rehse added. "The pressure is there but I take great joy out of it and it's very rewarding to see Her Majesty wearing my clothes in public."

So next time you see Queen Elizabeth at an event make sure to thank her for putting a lot of thought behind her outfits. She is, after all, doing it for your benefit.

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