Queen Elizabeth II Just Made a Surprise Appearance at London Fashion Week

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Richard Quinn show
Queen Elizabeth II attends the Richard Quinn show. Mike Marsland/WireImage

Forget Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth II is the real fashionista. The 91-year-old monarch caused a fashion frenzy on Tuesday, February 20, when she made an unexpected appearance at London Fashion Week. She arrived at the Richard Quinn show at the BFC Showspace in London smiling for the waiting paparazzi in a beautiful blue, crystal-embellished Angela Kelly skirt and jacket, black gloves and a classic black handbag.

On the fifth and final day of the semi-annual fashion showcase, Her Majesty was on hand to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to an emerging talent. It was the first time in her 65 years on the throne that she had attended any event related to Fashion Week, but presenting her namesake award to Quinn was apparently worth the trip.

The royal family confirmed via Twitter that the Queen was “visiting London Fashion Week today to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.” According to the Royal Family’s Twitter account, “the award, initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will be awarded annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows talent and originality, whilst demonstrating value to the community and/or sustainable policies.”

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Richard Quinn show
Queen Elizabeth II attends the Richard Quinn show Neil Mockford/GC Images

After exploring the BFC Showspace, which included pieces by up-and-coming designers, the Queen made her way to Quinn’s presentation, where her seat was reportedly adorned with a blue cushion in addition to the show notes. She was seated next to Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, and American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and was said to be clapping and chatting with her seatmates throughout the show.

The Queen’s appearance comes on the heels of Kate Middleton hosting a reception for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace on Monday, February 19. While it is unclear if Her Majesty plans to make her trip to London Fashion Week an annual event, reports indicate that the award will be presented each year by a member of the Royal Family.

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