The death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday marked the departure of one of the world's most recognized figures who, throughout her reign, used the way she dressed to carve out a singular identity for herself and her unparalleled monarchy.
From beautiful ballgowns to tailored coats, brooches, handbags and those wonderful matching hats, Queen Elizabeth II's fashion was always a masterclass in control and having things just-so — though always with enough room for surprises and subtle nods to modern culture or the people and places she was visiting.
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From her time as a young princess throughout her 70-year reign as queen, which began in 1953, the Elizabeth always had a timeless sense of style — including a particular affinity for wearing bright colors. She was even known to have a famous motto: “You have to be seen to be believed.”
Here, we've gathered some of Queen Elizabeth's most memorable looks through the years.
A young queen, seen here in 1953, a year after her coronation, looked stunning in a sweetheart-neckline gown with lace detailing and all the accoutrements befitting a royal. The classic silhouette is equally popular nearly a century later and a go-to style on red carpets to this day.
In 1961, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip welcomed U.S. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jackie Kennedy for a visit. The queen donned this blue tulle gown with straps and paired the frock with long white gloves.
This photo may have been captured in 1975, but we could easily see one of the modern royals sporting a similar floral print shift today. The queen's accessory game was on point, as always, sporting a white and green hat, ladylike bag and multistrand pearl necklace.
We could see the Duchess of Cambridge rocking something like this beautiful turquoise dress that's cinched at the waist. The queen, seen here in 1984 in Jordan, accessorized with a matching hat and black kitten heels.
The queen and Prince Philip cut a dashing figure at a banquet in Hungary in 1993. He looked dapper in a tuxedo, and she looked stunning in a bubblegum pink gown with exaggerated shoulders and a belted waist.
Playing with texture was one of the queen's style super powers. Here, she turned heads on the red carpet in a pale yellow and gold lace gown, pearls and gloves in 2001.
While posing for a family portrait in 2007, the fashionable monarch was simply elegant in this baby blue gown with jewel detailing and sheer arms.
2008When U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush traveled to Windsor Castle to meet with the royal family in 2008, the queen looked pretty in pink in this floral dress with a dainty bow at the waist.
The queen opted for a sleek white gown with shiny gold embellishments when U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited London in 2011.
The monarch looked good as gold in this wrap-style metallic gown that she wore to Royal Albert Hall in 2012. The ever-stylish queen also carried a metallic silver bag as an added pop of shimmer.
Queen Elizabeth II was always fond of pretty pastel hues, like this lovely lavender coat and matching hat that she wore to the Epsom Derby in 2018.
Royal blue! In 2020, the queen donned this sleek shift dress during a royal engagement and added some classic pearls and black kitten heels.
The monarch's matching game was always on point. Here, she infused a healthy dose of color into a cool autumn day with a bright blue coat with black fur trim and a matching hat.
Pastels are one of the queen's go-to style choices, and she looked lovely in this light blue shift dress with lace floral detailing at a Platinum Jubilee celebration in 2022.