Impeccable British pedigree: Why the Barbour jacket is one of the Queen"s wardrobe staples

Impeccable British pedigree: Why the Barbour jacket is one of the Queen's wardrobe staples

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UPDATED:

23:43 GMT, 3 October 2012

Teamed with a headscarf and some wellies, the waxed Barbour jacket is one of the Queen’s wardrobe staples — and the heritage brand has impeccable British pedigree.

A fifth-generation family business, Barbour began in 1894 in South Shields, where the HQ remains. It was launched by John Barbour, a Scotsman, to produce weatherproof clothing for the area’s many sailors, fishermen and dockers.

The practically indestructible outerwear was also worn by British soldiers during the World Wars.

Beloved: The Queen (left) and TV presenter Holly Willoughby are both fans of the waxed Barbour jacket

Beloved: The Queen (left) and TV presenter Holly Willoughby are both fans of the waxed Barbour jacket

Beloved: The Queen (left) and TV presenter Holly Willoughby are both fans of the waxed Barbour jacket

Lieutenant Commander George Phillips commissioned a suit from them for the crew of HMS Ursula as he was unhappy with the Navy kit. The Barbour ‘Ursula’ then became standard issue in WWII.

Characterised by a corduroy collar, thermal lining and thick, waxed fabric, the jackets are still hand-made in Simonside, Tyne and Wear.

Barbour holds three Royal Warrants (the others are from Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh) and has graced the backs of everyone from Steve McQueen to Helen Mirren.

Over 3,000 are produced every week and they’re beloved of farmers and fashionistas alike.

The unisex Bedale is one of the brand’s most popular styles and fans include Holly Willoughby and Nicole Kidman. Look out for Daniel Craig in a Barbour in the new Bond film, Skyfall, too.