From Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt to HRH Queen Rania of Jordan, we highlight 11 royal style icons, past and present, with great wardrobes on note.
Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt
Princess Fawzia Fuad of Egypt (who later went on to become the Queen of Iran), was the epitome of glamour. Her well-documented style – an eclectic mix of European and traditional fashion – was captured in various black-and-white images of her wearing cocktail gowns, lavish fur coats and oversized hats that raised comparisons to the silver-screen stars of the time. The princess, who was shot by Cecil Beaton for Life magazine in 1942, was also a faithful couture client. It is said that in 1951, she scooped up designer Jacques Fath’s entire haute couture collection – perhaps to go with her sprawling collection of Van Cleef & Arpel jewels.
Princess Durru Shehvar
Born Khadija Hayriya Aisha Durru Shehvar to Abdülmecid II of the Ottoman dynasty (the last apparent heir to the Imperial Ottoman throne), Durru Shehvar – as she was also known – married the Nizam of Hyderabad’s eldest son, Azam Jah, becoming the Princess of Berar and a byword for elegance. During her tenure as princess, Shehvar took to wearing embroidered French chiffon saris and attended fashion shows in Paris and London. Known for her philanthropic endeavors, she later donated her envy-inducing wardrobe to fashion schools in Hyderabad.
Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco
Grace Kelly was a veritable style icon. The actor-turned-princess had a wardrobe bursting at the seams with dresses by Hollywood costume designers like Helen Rose (who also created her wedding dress), as well as Christian Dior gowns, and Hermès bags in every color and design – including the Kelly bag, which was renamed in her honor. Kelly also collected jewelry, favoring brands like Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. Among her collection of jewels, her most revered was her engagement ring from Prince Rainier of Monaco; a 10.47-carat, emerald-cut diamond by Cartier.
Princess Diana of Wales
As the princess of Wales, Diana Spencer established herself as an international style icon before her death in a car crash in 1997. Her wardrobe was so timeless, a fashion exhibition dedicated to her style evolution recently opened at Kensington Palace, showcasing some of her most memorable outfits. These include the Victor Edelstein gown she wore to the 1985 White House dinner; the pale pink Emanuel blouse she wore for her engagement portrait shot by Lord Snowdon and numerous looks by one of her favorite designers, Catherine Walker. Notably missing is the headline-making Christina Stambolian “revenge dress”, which was auctioned off for charity.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Whether she’s visiting a children’s hospital or attending state banquets, the duchess is always dressed to the nines. she can effortlessly pull of both high-end and high-street styles, and often takes previously worn outfits and makes them feel brand-new again. She’s proven to be a true fashion influencer, with the midnight blue wrap dress by Issa that she wore to announce her engagement to Prince William in 2010 sending fans into a frenzy, selling out within minutes. Dubbed the “Kate Effect,” her major fashion influence was again felt by maternity brand Seraphine after the duchess wore one of its dresses for her first official portrait with Prince George, reportedly increasing the brand’s sales by 50%.
Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan
HRH Queen Rania is known as one of the most elegant women in the Arab world and beyond. The wife of Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the mother of the Kingdom’s Crown Prince, Her Highness uses her position to advocate for children’s education, all while wearing the finest designs from the world’s most renowned fashion houses. Whether she’s donning Valentino Haute Couture or the house of Balmain, Queen Rania never fails to turn heads while adhering to her culture’s conservative tradition, preferring outfits with long sleeves and high necklines.
Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar
Aside from her major role in spearheading education, social reforms, and female empowerment in Qatar and beyond, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned (mother of Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani) is recognized for her impeccable fashion sense. Comprising signature turbans, breathtaking kaftans and couture pieces by Dior, Chanel and Valentino, Her Highness makes a stylish case for modest dressing. Memorable ensembles include a chartreuse kaftan by Jean-Paul Gaultier, a powder-blue tweed Chanel suit, and full skirt frocks by Ralph & Russo, all complete with an artfully wrapped turban.
Queen Letizia of Spain
Before becoming the Queen of Spain as the wife of King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano was a journalist and television presenter with an impeccable wardrobe. Despite her transition from a news anchor to royalty, her fashion taste remained constant. The Spanish royal is renowned for her standout sartorial choices and isn’t afraid to break fashion rules, pairing a bright fuchsia jacket with leather pants, or wearing a crocodile skirt suit. She favors both high-end and high-street brands such as Hugo Boss, Carolina Herrera, Mango and Zara.
Lalla Salma, Princess Consort of Morocco
When she’s not using her position to effect change in her country, Lalla Salma, Princess Consort of Morocco (wife of Mohammed VI of Morocco) is serving as a style muse with her elegant, embellished kaftans. Aside from her distinctive cloud of red curls, the princess (born Salma Bennani), sets herself apart from other royals by trading in couture gowns and designer skirt suits in favor of traditional, heavily embellished garbs.
Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco
Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco certainly inherited more than just her captivating looks from her grandmother Grace Kelly; she’s also following in her style footsteps. The 30-year-old monarch and equestrian, who is a permanent fixture on the front rows of international fashion shows, continuously offers up lessons in understated, laid-back glamour. For state events and appearances, she opts for couture gowns by prestigious designers, while her everyday sartorial choices are more casual. Jeans, oversized sweaters, T-shirts and bomber jackets make up a major portion of Casiraghi’s wardrobe essentials.
Princess Elizabeth of Toro
Princess Elizabeth Christobel Edith Bagaaya Akiiki is more than just a royal figure. She is also a lawyer (the first female East African to be admitted to the English bar association, to be more precise), politician, diplomat, model, actor, and Batebe (head of the princesses) of the Kingdom of Toro. She was also a muse for renowned fashion photographers, and graced the cover of prestigious publications during the 1960s, including American Vogue. With her regal stature and glass-cutting cheekbones, the princess continues to inspire today, acting as the muse behind Zac Posen’s Fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection.