A gust of wind in her skirts worked for Marilyn Monroe, but aides to Queen Elizabeth II take care to avoid any such incident for the monarch by sewing weights into her dresses, one of her aides revealed Monday.
“The queen undertakes a wide range of engagements, many of which take place in the open air, where a sudden breeze could cause embarrassment,” writes Angela Kelly, the queen’s personal assistant, adviser and curator, in a new book.
“If we think this is a possibility, we will very occasionally use weights, discreetly sewn into the seams of day dresses.”
The glossy hardback opens the door on the work involved in creating the 86-year-old monarch’s famously immaculate style, which saw her voted one of the world’s most glamorous women by British Vogue magazine in 2007.
It reveals the two years of preparations for the Diamond Jubilee in June, including how the queen’s white outfit worn to the river pageant was inspired by Elizabeth I and designed to stand out against the deep reds of the royal barge.
Kelly also describes how palace dressmakers were asked to make two identical versions of the crystal and lace peach cocktail dress the queen wore to the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in July, without knowing why.
One was worn by the monarch and the other by the stunt double who jumped out of a plane alongside James Bond, in one of the highlights of the night.
“Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe”, which features lavish photographs and design sketches, also reveals how the queen uses her clothes to make a diplomatic point.
This included wearing Irish green on her historic visit to the republic in May 2011, and having one of her outfits on a tour to Canada in 2010 embellished with beads by women from the Mi’kmaq indigenous community.