Even before her ascension to the throne, all eyes were on Princess Elizabeth, who would, of course, become Queen Elizabeth II — the longest-reigning British monarch.
Throughout Her Majesty’s time in the spotlight, she’s made it clear that whether she’s attending formal royal engagements or celebrating a joyous occasion — like her grandsons’ weddings — she’ll always put her best fashion foot forward.
The British monarch has had quite the style evolution through the years, effortlessly transitioning her wardrobe through the decades. No matter what stage she found herself at in life — be it a newly married wife or at her Diamond Jubilee, Elizabeth has developed a Stylish reputation.
She often opts for monochromatic ensembles, sensible patent pumps and fashionable coats. The monarch also puts the Crown Jewels to good use, accessorizing her outfits with her iconic pearl necklace or extensive collection of brooches.
As a young princess, she frequently wore floral dresses and pleated gowns. Then, when she married the late Prince Philip in 1947, she picked a wedding dress that was truly fit for a royal. Designed by Norman Hartnell, her gown featured pearl and crystal embroidery and a standout 13-foot train.
The Queen has also broken out formal royal attire on a handful of occasions. For example, in 1983, she wore a full uniform to salute her guard at the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. Just one year later, in 1984, added a blue cape and diamond tiara to her white gown for the Service of Saints Michael and George.
In recent years, the monarch has come to be known for her bright, monochromatic ensembles, ranging from red to yellow to green. She always has her trusty Launer handbag and loafers in tow, as well as the occasional headscarf.
For Prince William and Duchess Kate’s wedding in 2011, the Queen wore a sunshine-yellow suit. Then, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married in 2018, she opted for an equally as cheery ensemble, wearing a lime green coat over a floral patterned dress.
In April 2021, the Queen traded in her colorful frocks in favor of an all-black outfit for Philip’s funeral. To the ceremony, which took place at St. George’s Chapel, she also wore the Richmond Brooch, a diamond and pearl piece of jewelry, that was first gifted to her on her wedding day.
For her Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, Her Majesty looked regal in a pale blue outfit by Angela Kelly and hat, which she coordinated with a brooch and pearl necklace.
A few months later, the queen showcased her timeless style in a tartan skirt to appoint the new U.K. Prime Minister, Lizz Truss. In a royal first, the queen met with Truss in Scotland amid recent mobility issues. (She has been suffering from “episodic mobility problems” since May, opting not to attend the opening of Parliament.)
The appointment of Truss, which took place on September 6, 2022, came days before Buckingham Palace announced that the queen was experiencing health issues.
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” the September 8, 2022, statement read. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
Hours later, the palace confirmed that the monarch died at age 96. “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” read a statement from Buckingham Palace. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
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Keep scrolling to see the queen’s life in photos, from 1926 to 2022.