A vintage day for fashion and even Princess Beatrice got it right as the Queen celebrates Jubilee with river pageant
13:42 GMT, 4 June 2012
Well, I was in tears. When the Queen emerged from her limo, she shimmered.
She was in a white boucle coat with a ruched ribbon fastening, embellished with Swarovski crystals, designed by her redoubtable dresser, Angela Kelly, and a year in the making.
The only note of dishevelment was that her solid Launer of London handbag was open (Camilla soon told her to snap it shut); the sole sign of her advanced age a cashmere square for warmth later.
The Queen was greeted by Chelsea pensioners as she arrived at Chelsea
Pier to board the launch that would take her to the royal barge
The Duchess of Cambridge waved to the crowds ahead of the
Jubilee River Pageant. She joined her husband Prince William and the
Queen on The Spirit of Chartwell
The choice of white was fitting, reminding us of the brilliance of diamonds, and a serene change from her usual vivid colour choice.
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The Jardine Star brooch sparkled despite
the rain, and she was also wearing her usual pearl Ladies of Devonshire
earrings and necklace, a wedding present from Queen Mary.
Even Karl Lagerfeld, who hates women with a BMI and age above 15, wrote on Twitter: ‘For her role, and who she is, it is hard to imagine a different outfit the Queen could have sported better.’ She was, to put it simply, perfect.
It was the older women who shone on
the day. The Duchess of Cornwall looked smart in a slightly floaty coat
dress with lattice sleeves by Kensington couturier Anna Valentine and a
Philip Treacy picture hat.
Carole Middleton was impeccable in a cream tailored summer suit.
was unusually frumpy in a prim nautical blue and white dress by Orla
Keily (345) and matching textured jacket (295), completing the red,
white and blue theme of the Middleton women.
Royal trio: Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Williamwave as they pass the Houses of Parliament aboard the Royal barge
Time to talk: The Duchess of Cambridge meets well wishers before boarding the Spirit of Chartwell
Glittering: The Queen's outfit was bedecked with dozens
of crystals, the hat with sliver, gold and white paillettes. On her
lapel she wore a star-shaped diamond brooch
Warm welcome: The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were met at Chelsea Harbour Pier by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
A nice idea, but I’m afraid Kate, who took up the red mantle, needs to realise she has a new family, and should be complete and patriotic in her own right.
Even the gruesome twosome, Eugenie and
Beatrice, were understated. Beatrice wore a bespoke Fifties-style dress
in silver and navy jacquard (850) by my favourite London couturier,
Suzannah, and a Stephen Jones hat.
Her coat was Marni: a marvellously
bohemian, and super expensive, Italian label.
Eugenie wore a Roland Mouret dress that
sculpted her figure, a black, lacy bolero and a Stephen Jones hat.
also had a cream Moschino jacket in a military style. (Incidentally,
Eugenie will be in a silk kaleidoscope dress in royal purple, also by
Suzannah, for the thanksgiving service at St Paul’s tomorrow, a choice
that tells me these young women have finally grown up.)
Orderly fashion: The Middletons queue up before boarding the boat
Chic: Pippa Middleton wore a classic navy and cream skirt suit for her
appearance on the Elizabethan paddle steamer for today's flotilla. Pippa
waved to crowds gathered on Battersea bridge as her boat passed
A word, too, on the outdoor broadcast female TV commentators: why the oilskins and anoraks If the Queen can get cold and wet, then so can you.
Even the normally glamorous Tess Daly
was spoiled by a raggedy pony tail and gaudy jewellery that looked as
though it came from Accessorize.
E. Grant bothered to look impeccable, so shame on you all, ladies. Even
the mums of Jubilee babies were up, dressed and wearing make-up and on
All eyes were, of course, on the Duchess
of Cambridge, and I’m afraid she disappointed, from a fashion
historian’s point of view.
Elegant: (from left) The much-maligned Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie looked equally glamorous
Pretty in pink: Stephen Jones has made hats for
some of the world's biggest stars including Madonna, Kylie Minogue and
Of course she looked exquisite, but that pillar box red dress was a customised design by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen from an off-the-peg version costing 1,195.
It should have been unique, and therefore should have been couture, not a lazy, hazy compromise.
But it did have a themed boat neck and was pinned with a brooch made of two silver dolphins, a gift from the Royal Navy submarines.
Unfortunately, the red blended with
the Spirit of Chartwell’s soft furnishings — a fundamental mistake the
Queen would never have made.
Kate’s svelte figure looked more curvaceous than usual, due to the nipped-in waist, fashionable peplum and sunray pleats.
Camilla dressed in an Anna Valentine dress and weather-appropriate Burberry raincoat with a pearl and diamond choker around her neck
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at the 'Big Jubilee Lunch' in Piccadilly in
London, left, and right, Sophie Wessex arrives at Imperial Wharf,
Chelsea, to board a vessel
The Countess of Wessex waved to spectators as she joined Princess Beatrice and Boris Johnson aboard the Havengore
I am trying to be positive, so will say I loved the jaunty Sylvia Fletcher hat from James Lock, at 795, but why on earth the LK Bennett nude patent courts, at 185 They are so last season and so cheap looking.
This occasion will be viewed countless times, so Kate should have abandoned the rehashed and the High Street and gone for all-out bespoke glamour. I’d like her to look sexy and young while she still can.
The Queen, remarkably, stood for the whole journey. /06/04/article-2154240-136F6BAD000005DC-621_964x540.jpg” width=”964″ height=”540″ alt=”Jubilee calendar ” class=”blkBorder” />