Queen 'dressed perfectly' for first major event since Prince Philip's death

·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read

Watch: Changed State Opening of Parliament for widowed Queen

The Queen "dressed perfectly" for her first major event since the death of her "strength and stay" Prince Philip, according to a fashion expert.

The monarch, 95, was in London on Tuesday for the first time since November to attend the State Opening of Parliament, but wore a day dress and hat instead of ceremonial robes and a crown.

It was the first major event she has taken on since her late husband's funeral and she wore a pale blue-grey coat with yellow floral embroidery around the collar, and a matching hat. 

Fashion journalist Claudia Joseph said: "The Queen was dressed perfectly for the occasion, as always. She was not wearing her ceremonial robes but looked charming in pastel blue.

"She always likes to wear a colour which will stand out from the crowd - and a hat which shows her face - but I think pale blue was a lovely choice as it is calm and reflective during a time of turmoil for both her own family and the country."

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waits to read the Queen's Speech on the The Sovereign's Throne in the House of Lords chamber,, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. - The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government's agenda for the coming year in a Queen's Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen wore a blue-grey coat and hat instead of formal ceremonial robes. (Chris Jackson/AFP)
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and his wife Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, both wearing face coverings, attend the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. - The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government's agenda for the coming year in a Queen's Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla both accompanied the Queen to the state opening. (Chris Jackson/AFP)

Read more: Queen avoids full robes in COVID hit scaled-back ceremony during the State Opening of Parliament

Royal Central noted that grey is a colour associated with "half mourning".

Adorning her coat was a set of brooches, which she was given when she turned 18 by her parents, then King George and Queen Elizabeth. 

Style writer Amber Graafland said it was a "lovely touch" that the Queen chose to wear the brooches.

They were Art Deco-style Boucheron aquamarine and diamond clip brooches, which can be worn in a variety of formations.

Graafland added: "The royals are good at using jewellery to convey messages and she clearly wanted people to know she’s still mourning. 

"Prince Philip will never be forgotten. And in a way, she was keeping him with her."

The Queen wore the brooches one above the other on her left side. 

She last wore them during her message for VE Day in 2020.

Her outfit has also been worn before, notably at Royal Ascot in 2019, the last time she was able to attend the event.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Queen Elizabeth II ahead of the Queen's Speech in the House of Lord's Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on May 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen as she prepared to read the Queen's Speech in the House of Lords Chamber during the State Opening of Parliament. (Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 20: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II attends day three, Ladies Day, of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2019 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen paired the outfit with a different brooch at Royal Ascot in 2019. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Read more: Queen leaves Windsor for first time since Prince Philip's death to open Parliament

Fittingly, this year's theme for Royal Ascot encourages re-wearing items or hunting for outfits in charity shops, so Her Majesty may be one step ahead.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles, who held his mother's hand before and after her speech, wore a morning suit, with a black face covering, trimmed in white.

His wife Camilla wore a white and silver coat with a diamond pattern over a white dress. She also wore a wide-brimmed white hat and a matching face covering.

The Queen's widowhood was further magnified by the removal of the consort's throne, which has been next to the monarch's for decades.

As she read out the speech, written for her by the government, her son and daughter-in-law sat off to one side.

EMBARGOED: NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR ONWARD DISTRIBUTION BEFORE 2100 BST Friday May 8, 2020. Buckingham Palace handout image of Queen Elizabeth II during her address to the nation and the Commonwealth on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The Queen wore the brooches during her address to the nation and the Commonwealth on the 75th anniversary of VE Day. (Buckingham Palace)

In recent years, Charles has been able to sit on his father's throne, but it has been removed since Philip's death.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: “The Queen was very much how we expect to see her – composed and very much in charge.

“Where the Queen remains devastated personally, she clearly sees it as her duty as monarch.

“It’s a step nearer to normality as far as her public life is concerned.”

After the event she was seen chatting with the Marquess of Cholmondeley, who was involved in the ceremonial parts of the day, and gestured animatedly before smiling as she departed, most probably back to Windsor Castle where she has been primarily living since March 2020.

Watch: Queen departs Parliament after State Opening

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