Celebrity Style

Queen Elizabeth's Fashion Transformation Was All About Embracing Color

Seven decades of style.

Originally Published: 
Queen Elizabeth's style transformation, from 1947 to 2022

Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96. Born into the Royal Family, she held the seat at the head since 1953. That’s over 70 years in power, meaning more than seven decades of public events. She was known to stick to the Royal dress code to a T. What that looked like on most occasions was a pair of tights, low-heeled pumps, a mid-length dress, and a matching hat.

Though the Queen sometimes wore prints, it is the solid bold colors for which she was best known. Often matching her dress, coat, and hat, splicing together her looks over even a week’s time created a stunning rainbow of outfits.

When it came to jewelry, Queen Elizabeth II kept it simple. She was known for her brooches (many of which contained a hidden meaning or important story), and largely stuck to pearls by day and gems by night when it came to her bracelet, necklace, and earring combination. And of course, for special occasions, the tiaras were everything.

Though she more often opted for long sleeves over off-the-shoulder gowns, lowered her heel height, and incorporated more of her signature hats into her everyday looks, her style over the years remained largely unchanged. In short, the Queen was just as much of a style icon in her most recent years as she was in her youth.

From 1947 to 2022, here are Queen Elizabeth II’s best looks, in color.


June 5, 2022: Platinum Pageant

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To celebrate her Platinum Jublilee, the Queen wore a bright green two-piece suit and matching hat with a three-tier pearl necklace and diamond brooch.


June 30, 2022: Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade

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This soft blue skirt suit was worn to the Royal Company of Archers Reddendo Parade, a perfect choice for summer festivities for the royal.


December 8, 2020: Windsor Castle

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This bright red jacket and matching hat was right on par for Christmas at Windsor Castle.


June 1, 2020: Prince Philip’s 99th Birthday

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In one of their final public appearances before his death in April 2021, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her husband’s 99th birthday at Windsor Castle, wearing a gray and yellow floral dress and her go-to single strand of pearls.


June 19, 2018: Royal Ascot

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Queen Elizabeth II chose a sunny look for the summer celebrations at the Royal Ascot in 2018, slipping into a blue and yellow floral dress that matched her buttoned-up yellow lapel coat and hat (dressed with matching blue flowers).


December 25, 2017: St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, UK

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On this occasion, the Queen chose a green and orange printed floral dress, from which she took the bright citrus hue to which she matched her single-breasted coat and hat.


2007: Royal Variety Performance in Liverpool

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Serving up a bit of old Hollywood glamour, the Queen was also known to rock a fur shawl from time to time.


June 1987: Epsom Derby

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This yellow floral two-piece set was a switch-up from her normal attire of a bold colored skirt suit, but a very fitting choice for the Epsom Derby.


1980: Sandringham, UK

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Even for a relaxing day with her corgis, the Queen chose to slip into a buttoned-up bright green coat that matched her printed dress, which was only slightly visible at the cuffs.


July 1979: Safari in Zambia

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On one of the few photographed moments where the Queen wore trousers in lieu of a skirt or dress, she chose a pair of khaki-colored pants and a printed jacket for a safari in Zambia in 1979.


February 1975: Mexico

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In a rare showing of print from head to toe, Queen Elizabeth II chose a bright yellow polka-dot dress, belted at the waist, with a matching turban on a Royal visit to Mexico.


December 10, 1962: Premier of Lawrence of Arabia, London

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This gown was designed by Norman Hartnell and made of Peau De Soie taffeta, trimmed with Duchess satin. It was famously worn to the 1962 London premiere of Lawrence of Arabia. Nearly 60 years later, it would be the gown that her granddaughter Princess Beatrice would borrow for her wedding day.


June 5, 1961: President and First Lady John F. Kennedy and Jackie Visit London

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In 1961, for a visit from President and First Lady Kennedy, the Queen chose a blue tulle gown and white opera gloves, perfectly nipped in at the waist in a true princess-style, dressed-up silhouette that was popular for evening events at the time.


June 2, 1953: Coronation

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For her Coronation in 1953, the 25-year-old wore a gown that took eight months to research, design, and create. It featured not only the floral emblems of the countries of the UK, but also those of the other states in the Commonwealth of Nations. It was designed by Norman Hartnell and crafted of satin per the Queen’s request. She wore her Coronation gown on a handful of occasions afterwards as well.


July 10, 1947: Official Engagement Photos

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In Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Mountbatten’s official engagement photos, the (not yet) Queen chose a pale pink dress with subtle bow accents that she paired with slightly open-toe pumps.

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