Queen Elizabeth's hack for breaking in shoes: Hire someone to do it

Her Royal Highness only wears her heels after a Buckingham Palace staffer has worn them first.
/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

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Opulent surroundings, royal engagements, the power to confer titles and peerages — the perks of palace life are more than most of us could even imagine.

Except for this one! Anyone can imagine comfy shoes.

Comfort is a top consideration when it comes to the queen's shoes. Samir Hussein / WireImage

But unlike anyone else, Queen Elizabeth doesn't have to walk around in stiff leather waiting for them to finally feel like the perfect fit. Her Royal Highness only wears a pair of shoes after her very own helper breaks them in, thus ensuring the queen's pumps never pinch.

Angela Kelly, dressmaker to the 93-year-old monarch, opens up about that in her new book, "The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe."

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"As has been reported a lot in the press, a flunky wears in Her Majesty’s shoes to ensure that they are comfortable and that she is always good to go," Kelly writes in an excerpt published in Hello! magazine. "And yes, I am that flunky."

Queen Elizabeth's go-to shoes and handbag. Getty Images

While shoe-flunky isn't Kelly's only job, it is an important one.

"The Queen has very little time to herself and not time to wear in her own shoes, and as we share the same shoe size it makes the most sense this way," she continued.

News first broke about the shoe-breaker-inner back in 2017, when Stewart Parvin, the man who designs much of the queen's colorful wardrobe, spoke about it in an interview with the Evening Standard.

"The shoes have to be immediately comfortable," he said at the time. "The queen can never say 'I’m uncomfortable; I can’t walk anymore.'"

The shoes may change, but thanks to Angela Kelly, the queen's comfort is never compromised. Samir Hussein / WireImage

In order to ensure that never happen, Kelly walks a mile — or however far it takes — in the monarch’s shoes. But as with all things royal, there's a certain protocol that must be maintained to make sure the queen's boots don't blister.

For instance, Parvin revealed that one does not go without socks in the queen's loafers.

The person on shoe duty must wear a pair of beige ankle socks during the breaking-in period and only walk on carpet.

Queen Elizabeth's favorite shoes, created just for her by Anello & Davide. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

"She has the right to have someone wear them in," he added.

And when Kelly wears "them" in, they're usually the queen's go-to shoes, a bespoke pair of always-fashionable, low-heeled, patent leather slip-ons by Anello & Davide.