The Duchess of Cambridge is known for re-wearing pieces from her own wardrobe – but long before Kate Middleton emerged on the public stage, the Queen was already making a point of repeating past looks. Back in the 1960s, the monarch re-wore her custom-made gowns at high-profile events, including the Norman Hartnell dress that Princess Beatrice borrowed for her wedding day in 2020.
The Queen’s personal dresser, Angela Kelly, has previously explained how the royal’s repeat-wears are always carefully considered. “Typically, the lifespan of an outfit can be up to around 25 years,” Kelly wrote in her book The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, The Dresser And The Wardrobe. “Her Majesty is always thrifty and likes her clothes to be adapted and recycled as much as possible… After two or three outings, a piece will have become familiar to the media, so we will either look for ways to modify it or it will become something that is worn on private holidays at Balmoral or Sandringham.”
On the accessories front, the Queen has carried her trusty Launer handbags since the late 1960s, with the brand’s CEO Gerald Bodmer revealing how the monarch will often get her collection repaired, rather than buying new styles. When it comes to buying investment pieces that will stand the test of time, Her Majesty has set the ultimate example.
Below, see the Queen’s best repeat outfits over the years.
1962 and 1966
The Queen in a Norman Hartnell gown at the Lawrence Of Arabia premiere in 1962, and again at the State Opening Of Parliament in 1966. The monarch originally wore the dress for a state dinner in Rome in 1961.
1997 and 2003
Her Majesty in a blue floral dress and matching hat during a tour of India in 1997. She later re-wore the same look with a co-ordinating jacket six years later.
2003 and 2004
The Queen has worn this fuchsia coat dress and purple hat on numerous occasions, including for an event at Windsor Great Park in 2003 and at the opening of the Scottish Parliament a year later.
2005 and 2006
Her Majesty wore this floral dress for a visit to Malta in 2005, before bringing it back out for a Buckingham Palace reception the following year.
2005 and 2008
The monarch wore the same pale blue look during her visit to Malta in 2005 and at Ascot three years later.
2006 and 2008
After debuting this mauve coat by Angela Kelly for the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham in 2006, the Queen re-wore it multiple times, including for an engagement in London two years later.
2006 and 2010
The monarch has worn this turquoise blue coat and hat on a number of occasions, including at Ascot in 2006 and at Wimbledon in 2010.
2011 and 2011
For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, the Queen opted for a lemon yellow dress by Angela Kelly and a co-ordinating hat. Later that year, the monarch re-wore the ensemble during a visit to Australia.
2014 and 2017
Always a fan of a block colour, the Queen wore this lime green ensemble for an event marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2014, and again at Ascot three years later.
2016 and 2017
The royal opted for a bright yellow coat dress by Stewart Parvin for Ascot in 2016, before re-wearing the same look the following year for the opening of New Scotland Yard.
2019 and 2020
The Queen has worn this blue jacquard coat on no less than three occasions, including for Donald Trump’s state visit in 2019 and at Trooping the Colour the following year.
2019 and 2020
Her Majesty wore this dusty pink coat dress by Stewart Parvin for a joint appearance with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2019. A year later, she re-wore the same look for a visit to Salisbury with Prince William.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk